Michael Caine stars in the Muppet’s take on Dickens’ tale, 'A Christmas Carol'. Keeping the morals of the original story the Muppet’s add a touch of light-hearted frivolity to an enjoyable family film.

The best films to watch on TV this Christmas

For those who couldn't bear another run of Love Actually...

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

Books about royalty were a highlight of 2013, with the birth of Prince George (right) unleashing a right royal deluge of biographies of the young family, picture books of the young family, children’s books with cute cartoon versions the young family ... our favourite was by Nicholas Allan (practically a royal biographer since the huge success of his searingly insightful portrait The Queen’s Knickers in 1998): The Royal Nappy shows regal diapers since Henry VIII’s which, oddly, don’t get a mention in the year’s favourite history genre – the biographies of characters from Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall books. And still they come: Robert Hutchinson’s Thomas Cromwell and Susan Bordo’s The Creation of Anne Boleyn are out in the new year.

Bags more: More than 15 million of us planned to shop during the weekend sales

Hark! Cash tills ring... After one of the slowest build-ups to Christmas, shoppers brave the foul weather to snap up a bargain on 'Panic Saturday'

The country may have been battered by squally wind and heavy rain, but shoppers descended on Britain's high streets and shopping centres yesterday as struggling retailers slashed prices in a "Panic Saturday" fire sale after one of the slowest build-ups to Christmas on record.

Fans at the World Darts Championship keep themselves entertained with the various fancy dress seen each night
Howard's end: no more 'stacking' for planes

Simon Calder: Ho, ho, ho! Christmas cheer to report

The man who pays his way

Win Butler and his Canadian band Arcade Fire will play Glastonbury next June

Arcade Fire confirm Glastonbury Festival headline slot 2014

The Canadian rockers will be playing at Worth Farm in Somerset next June

Dr Peter Capaldi is a real family guy

Inside Television

Andy McSmith's Diary: 2013 - a year of discoveries - from secret gardens to extraterrestrial trysts

It is approaching that time of the year when you take a backward look and think to yourself: what do I know now that I didn’t know a year ago?

Rare 1696 Stradivarius violin worth £1.2m has finally been found by police

Violin which thief tried to sell for £100 sold for £1.4m

When John Maughan stole a violin from a sandwich shop outside London's Euston station in 2010, he apparently didn't realise quite how valuable it was.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring against Tottenham

Luis Suarez contract will 'take care of itself' if Liverpool can keep improving

Brendan Rodgers wants his side, who are second in the league, to focus on the football

The Great British Christmas getaway: 4m to head abroad for holidays – while the rest of us face a travel and weather nightmare

An estimated 13 million people set to take to UK's roads from 24-26 December

The brothers, known for their catchphrase “To me, to you”, will sit it on lunchtime news conferences at Northern Echo

The Chuckle Brothers to guest edit regional newspaper the Northern Echo

The brothers, known for their catchphrase “To me, to you”, will sit it on lunchtime news conferences at Northern Echo

Council Christmas card warns London tenants to 'pay your rent'

Postcard advises tenants not to 'overindulge' over the festive period

The Great British Bake Off Christmas Special, BBC2 - TV review

The Bake-Off turns into a bit of a bunfight, but Hollywood shows his star quality

10 best last minute crafty Christmas gifts

There's still time to snap up a crafty gift for Christmas that will look great and keep little ones busy in the holidays

Career Services

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee