News

The musician, who will be replaced as presenter by Mark Radcliffe, claimed no reason was given for the sacking

Mike Harding - the voice of folk music on Radio 2 for 15 years - sacked by the station in a single phone call

The musician, who will be replaced as presenter by Mark Radcliffe, claimed no reason was given for the sacking

The Princess Royal is handed the Olympic torch

'Sir' David Beckham and his royal teammate go for the burn as 2012 torch heads for UK

Flame lit in Athens and will start tour of Britain tomorrow

Album: Martyn Bennett

Grit, Realworld

Album: Blue Murder

No One Stands Alone, Topic

Paperbacks

Outsider Art by Colin Rhodes | Voltaire's Coconuts by Ian Buruma | Sergio Leone by Christopher Frayling | The Museum Guard by Howard Norman | Underground by Tobias Hill

Letter: Living folk arts of England

Sir: Derbyshire well-dressing still continues, and involves production of mosaic pictures inlaid on moist clay with flower petals, leaves and other natural materials. Another surviving English folk art, also ephemeral, is the "sanding" of streets in Knutsford, Cheshire on Knutsford Royal May Day. This involves men with bags of dyed sand creating mottoes and patterns on the ground.

Rangoli, traditional Indian folk art

It took 16 artists, 11 days and 250 shades of intricately sprinkled powder paint to create this display of Rangoli, a traditional Indian folk art. The floor decoration, 35 feet across, depicts religions of the world. It was commissioned by the Oshwal community centre in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.
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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all