Album reviews: John Sheppard, Max Richter, Les Vents Francais

John Sheppard "Sacred Choral Music" (Delphian)

My beard: I wanted Captain Haddock. I got George Michael

I'm back in Britain after two- and-half-weeks on holiday in the South of France. Having just done two months of solid filming for Fool Britannia 2, it wasn't just my mind that needed a rest. It was also my poor face, that had undergone about three hours of prosthetics every morning in order to transform me into whatever weird character we were filming that day. I was sick of putting stuff on my skin, so I decided to give it a total detox and not shave or do anything for the whole holiday. And so it began, my initiation into the world of the beard.

The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy attacked over £350k website

The former first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is threatening legal action after an online petition asked her to repay nearly €410,000 (£354,000) used to fund her website while her husband was President.

Johnny Depp in London for the Lone Ranger premiere

'Acting is insane for a human being': Johnny Depp hints at plans to retire from movie-making

Johnny Depp has said he could retire from movie-making soon and described the life of an actor as "a kind of insane option for a human being".

Look out: Broad shoulders take Idris Elba’s DCI John Luther a long way

TV review: Luther - I can’t tell my farce from my Idris Elba

‘Luther’ is back, with over-the-top murders and its tongue in its cheek

Mort-ish: (from left) Anne Consigny as Claire Séguret, Yara Pilartz as Camille Séguret, Frédéric Pierrot as Jérôme Séguret, Jenna Thiam as Léna Séguret in ‘The Returned’

Grace Dent on TV: The Returned, Channel 4

It's the undead with subtitles. Only they don't explain why zombies like pasta so much

Effigies, Indulgences, Anarchist...David Bowie opens up (sort of) about The Next Day in 42 words

The below mixture of unrelated terms might look like something that has been thrown up during an advanced game of Scrabble, but it is actually a “work flow diagram” explanation of David Bowie’s new album.

Phoebe Philo shows a new take on the laundry bag in her Céline collection

Celine gets carried away wholly gentle clothes

The mood book left on seats for the Céline autumn/winter catwalk show was printed with ethereal images of marble statues, clouds and woollen yarn – all in a neutral, bleached-out tone.

Jonny Hallyday was seduced by Edith Piaf

'I was terrified': Jonny Hallyday reveals how he was seduced at 17 - by a 44-year-old Edith Piaf

He was a teenage rocker on the rise and she was a national treasure on the skids

Beyond Serge: Jane Birkin is back in Britain but Gainsbourg is never far away

Jane Birkin: 'I was no Lolita,' says Britain's Bardot

Reflecting on her role as muse for Serge Gainsbourg, the actress and singer is clearly still under his spell, writes Jonathan Owen

Nicolas Sarkozy with his wife, Carla Bruni

Premières Dames past and present join election pantomime

François Hollande's girlfriend is furious with President Nicolas Sarkozy. So is his former wife, Cécilia.

A Monster in Paris 3D (U)

Voices: Vanessa Paradis, Adam Goldberg

Album: Guglielmo Pellarin, Federico Lovato, French Music for Horn & Piano (Audite)

This collection of pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries is intended to display the increasing range and versatility of the French horn following the addition of valves to the instrument – although the essential sonic personality remains unchanged throughout, from the mournful grace of Saint-Saëns's "Romance for Horn & Piano" to Poulenc's "Elegie" written in the late 1950s in memoriam of horn player Dennis Brain.

Album: Poulenc, Concerto pour Deux Pianos et Orchestre – Nima Eterna Brugge (Zig Zag)

Jos van Immerseel's period-instruments orchestra continues its survey of French music with this toothsome programme.

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
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People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

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Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

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Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

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5 best activity trackers

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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

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It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

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Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

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2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

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Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

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The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

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Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas