Arts and Entertainment

Press "Play" and stand well back: RR+P's 1981 debut is still strong stuff, with a level of energy and experiment that shames today's boho fringe.

Inside Parliament: Reserve teams fail to raise a cheer: NHS pledges repeated at Question Time; MacGregor bows to backbenches on railcards; Government defeat on housing Bill in Lords

THE UNVEILING by the Queen of a statue of Field Marshal Viscount Alanbrooke, the wartime strategist, enabled John Major and John Smith to slip away from the Commons yesterday and leave the ritual Question Time contest to their deputies, Tony Newton and Margaret Beckett.

The Campaign for Cheaper CDs: Plain speaking in committee

AS proceedings got under way in Committee Room 15, I noticed a group of people sitting at the back, writes Jack Hughes. They wore suits and puzzled expressions, I assumed they were from one of the big record companies.

Obituary: Judith Chaplin

Sybil Judith Schofield, civil servant and politician, born 19 August 1939, Head Policy Unit Institute of Directors 1986-88, Special Adviser to Chancellor of Exchequer 1988-90, Head Prime Minister's Political Office 1990-92, OBE 1992, MP (Conservative) for Newbury 1992-93, married 1962 the Hon Robert Walpole (two sons, two daughters; marriage dissolved 1979), 1984 Michael Chaplin, died London 19 February 1993.

MPs critical of Treasury over Lamont payment

TREASURY officials should have 'highlighted' their pounds 4,700 payment to Norman Lamont for having a top libel lawyer handle press inquiries over the letting of his London home to a sex therapist, the Commons Public Accounts Committee said yesterday.

BOOK REVIEW / Old horrors in Oliver's new army: Going to the wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars, 1638-1651 by Charles Carlton, Routledge pounds 25

THE civil wars of the 17th century were for a long time treated as the central event in the history of the British Isles. The realm of England in particular had supposedly been moving for some centuries towards that crisis, and the modern democratic structure was discerned as steadily developing from the victory of Parliament.

Parliament and Politics: The Mellor Resignation: Peter Brooke: a traditional Tory

PETER BROOKE, appointed yesterday as Secretary of State for National Heritage, is well equipped to deal with the controversial issues of press freedom and the future of the BBC.

Parliament and Politics: The Mellor Resignation: BBC and national lottery top agenda

THE NEW Secretary of State for National Heritage will find a letter from Tam Dalyell on his desk on Monday morning calling for the contents of Pitchford Hall to be saved from auction, writes Colin Brown.

The Recall of Parliament: Grey man refuses to change colour in crisis: Commons Sketch

CALL John Major what you may - 'resign' was the advice chorusing from Labour lips yesterday - he is nothing if not consistent: grey in triumph, grey in disaster.

Leading Article: Will it always have been with us?

ALL THE institutions that really matter to the English middle classes appear to have been in place, unchanged, for centuries. One thinks of Parliament, the monarchy, and The Archers. Of course, appearances are deceptive. Parliament loses sovereignty, the Royal Family loses spouses. Only the Home Service endures from age to age. The new commercial station, Classic FM, which was launched yesterday, must sound a week from now as if it had always been there, if it is to succeed.
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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Brendan Rodgers looks on from the touchline
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick