News

'I'm good with a water cannon'

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit during the 79th annual lighting ceremony in New York

Rockefeller's Christmas tree lights up New York

New York City rang in the holiday season on Wednesday night as the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree, with its 30,000 lights, lit up for tens of thousands of people watching. The ceremony featured performances by Neil Diamond, Cee Lo Green and Carole King. Justin Bieber and Tony Bennett provided pre-taped performances.

Duwayne Brooks leaving the Old Bailey after giving his evidence, during which he described his frantic efforts to get help for his dying friend

Friend weeps as he recalls 'blows that killed Lawrence'

Court hears graphic and emotional testimony from witness who insisted on taking stand – despite his father's death on Wednesday

Amol Rajan: Piling on the pressure for modern men to look good

If even a sliver of doubt was loitering in your mind on the central question of modern culture – is The Only Way is Essex (Towie among friends) the best programme of the 21st century? – last week's exhilarating developments should have eradicated it.

Gary Barlow 'hugely disappointed' in Frankie Cocozza

The 'X Factor' judge - who had mentored the 18-year-old hopeful before he was kicked off the ITV1 show  - explained despite being sad to see Frankie forced to leave the competition, he will always be a "friend and supporter" of the teen rocker. 

Syal daughter cleared of assaulting model at party

The teenage daughter of the television actress and writer Meera Syal was yesterday cleared of attacking a male model at a birthday party.

The return of comedy's odd couple

I don't know whether I'm hungry or bored," says a young woman, leaning listlessly out of the window of a messy, down-at-heel rented bedroom. "I need a wee, but I can't be bothered," replies a young man lying on the bed eating his fifth choc-ice of the morning. Welcome (or welcome back) to the world of Steve and Becky, the title characters in Him & Her, the sitcom that deservedly won a record audience for a BBC3 sitcom debut when it was first screened last year.

More domestic bliss from the odd couple of comedy

The lazy lovebirds of Him & Her are back. Gerard Gilbert on the anti-Gavin & Stacey

Would you like 'Red Ken' to father your kids?

In his autobiography, You Can't Say That, Ken Livingstone reveals that, in the early 1990s, while living with his long-term partner, Kate Allen, he was asked by two women if he would father their children. The first woman, journalist Philippa Need, had a daughter in August 1990 and a son in September 1992. He also helped out Jan Woolf, a teacher and political activist, who gave birth to Livingstone's second son in November 1992, just weeks after the first.

Bert & Ernie: Friends – with benefits?

An online petition to have Bert and Ernie to tie the knot on Sesame Street has sparked discussion on when children should be taught about sexual orientation.

Glimpse from bus was last of Milly Dowler

A friend of 13-year-old Milly Dowler was the last person to see her alive before she was abducted and murdered. The Old Bailey was told yesterday that Katherine Laynes, 15, saw Milly from a bus.

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New friends (and songs) for Dorothy

Kids will love this handsome looking show - they'll wonder at the scary tornado, the magic revolve and colourful pop-up surprises, the whizz bangs and flying monkeys and biliously green, broomstick mounted, Wicked Witch of the West.

When you have a friend like Cameron, who needs enemies?

Will China forgive Cameron for his foolish rant about ‘authoritarian capitalism’?

Too hot for America: the TV show Skins

And so to the latest addition to the long, long list of things which are apparently considered too fruity for American television.

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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
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Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
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Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
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Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport