Arts and Entertainment Hair time: Colin Wilson breaks another literary rule: don't pose for silly pictures

For ambitious would-be authors, the life of Colin Wilson presents itself as a cautionary tale. Here, Terence Blacker explains where the self-proclaimed genius went wrong

Colin Wilson: Author

Writer and philosopher whose work, beginning with ‘The Outsider’, searched for the meaning of man’s existence

A peep in the dark: ‘Wireless Nights’ presenter Jarvis Cocker

The Week in Radio: Jarvis Cocker's night crossing is the stuff of dreams

I'm not quite sure how I missed Radio 4's Wireless Nights the first time around. This is the late-night, awards-strewn show in which the Pulp frontman-turned-national treasure Jarvis Cocker reveals the peculiar stuff that British people get up to under cover of darkness. (Oh, stop it, not that).

Invisible Ink: No 161 - Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson, self-declared genius and misfit, remains a specialist taste, perhaps because, as one of the "Angry Young Men" of British literature, he divided opinion so much that Time magazine ran an excoriating article on his book Religion and the Rebel entitled "Scrambled Egghead". He's available in print but, like many prolific writers, this makes him hard to keep track of, and tracing a common thread through his work requires tenacity.

John Constable's 'The Leaping Horse' (1825)

A change of view that shook the world

The Royal Academy's superb new exhibition brings together landscapes by Gainsborough, Turner and Constable, and reveals how they were inspired by Europe

City of London Corporation to reveal details of £1.3bn private account

Exclusive: The City of London Corporation will reveal that its “City’s Cash” account, where it has been putting donations from benefactors like the real-life Dick Whittington - as well as money it has made from rent and investments - holds more than £1.3bn.

The Sinking of the Titanic, Barbican Hall, London / Jakob Lenz, Hampstead Theatre, London / Don Giovanni, Heaven, London

Moving musical memories of 'Titanic', a sodden mystic and a drooling Don make the going soggy

Diane Abbott was forced into an embarrassing apology after being accused of racism

John Kampfner: As Diane Abbott has found, tweets are not the place for nuance

Calm down dears, as David Cameron might have said. The row yesterday over Diane Abbott's remarks about "white people" shines a light on not just British attitudes to race, but also on our ability to absorb and deal with controversy in the era of instant communication. The wisdom – or lack of it – shown by the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, aka "leftwing" or "firebrand", has already been discussed enough. The only tuppenceworth I will add on that score is that she seems stuck in a time warp of 1980s clichés and lazy assumptions. If she had said what she had said in the pub, or more likely at a north London dinner party table, her interlocutors might have agreed with her, challenged her or castigated her. Then they would have poured themselves a glass of chardonnay and moved on.

Matthew Norman: Do unethical lobbyists feel any pain at the dirty, seedy role they play in politics?

For all the Michelin meals, first-class air travel and fat salaries, they are not to be envied

Joanna Briscoe: 'I knew I was entering sensitive territory...'

Joanna Briscoe describes her brand of 'erotic suspense' to Catherine Taylor

Alice-Azania Jarvis: It turns out London can be cheap and cheerful

London is expensive. Extortionately so – or so runs the conventional wisdom. And it's true: a pint in a Zone One pub costs considerably more than it does anywhere else. The tube is both a necessity and a luxury: yes, it gets you from A to B, but it's also pricey, crowded, dirty and unreliable. And that's before you even take into account the lack of large-scale supermarkets, shunned in favour of their more expensive "metro" equivalents. There's no doubting that London living isn't cheap. But what do visitors to the big city think?

Matthew Williamson experiments at home

Fashion and interiors are one, says the designer in an exclusive interview with Annie Deakin

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Fry's misogynistic view is of women as evil temptresses

Most of my good gay friends truly like femininity. But I have known some phobic ones too

Driving offences and drugs brought George Michael back into spotlight

By any measure George Michael has had a glittering chart career - but brushes with the law and tales of his drug use have increasingly made more impact than his musical output.

The Persians, Cilieni Village, Brecon Beacons<br/>Earthquakes in London, NT Cottesloe, London<br/>My Romantic History, Traverse, Edinburgh

The world&rsquo;s oldest play is revived to spectacular effect in a Welsh military range &ndash; but Xerxes never had to worry about CCTV...
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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
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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
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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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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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