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While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson in Blackadder

Baldrick bites back: Sir Tony Robinson calls Michael Gove 'irresponsible' over criticisms of Blackadder as propaganda tool for the left

Actor says comments by Education Secretary amounted to 'slagging off teachers'

Inside television: Why the battle is not just for ratings

This year marks 100 years since the start of a four-year war which claimed 16 million lives around the world. In October, the BBC laid claim to this anniversary announcing an ambitious slate of over 2,500 hours of First World War programming. Clearly, Adrian Van Klaveren needn't worry whether he's commissioned enough programmes, but if anything keeps the BBC's Controller of the World War One Centenary up at night over the next four years, it will be the tone of these documentaries and dramas.

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw put Sunday's last-gasp win over Ireland down to their belief that they can always win a match despite being behind

All Blacks belief kept New Zealand in with a chance against Ireland despite 19-point deficit claims captain Richie McCaw

The Kiwis staged a miraculous comeback to steal the win with the final play of the game thanks to a Ryan Crotty try which was converted by Aaron Cruden

Dan Carter was named Player of the Year for a second time, at the IRB's annual awards

New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter to follow Richie McCaw in taking six-month sabbatical

Carter will take time out from the game after the Kiwi's November European Tour

John Lloyd: The Liff of QI

Edinburgh 2013: John Lloyd's The Liff of QI does exactly what it says on the tin

The comedy producer and QI founder John Lloyd does exactly what he sets out to do with this show - at least according to the blurb on his flyer: to take the audience on a journey via The Meaning of Liff (the spoof lexicon he co-wrote with Douglas Adams) and his constant search for quite interesting facts.

Stephen Mangan, right, and Matthew Macfadyen, left, as Wooster and Jeeves

Exit, pursued by aunt: Jeeves and Wooster play finally hits the West End

Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen step into well-polished Wodehousian shoes

The Shocking Miss Emerald goes straight to number one

Dutch jazz and pop singer Caro Emerald has gone straight to number one with her second album The Shocking Miss Emerald.

Sebastian Faulks is to breathe new life into much-loved characters Jeeves and Wooster after being approached by the estate of PG Wodehouse. Jeeves And The Wedding Bells is to be published in November by Hutchinson, which issued all of Wodehouse's later novels.

Jeeves And The Wedding Bells: Sebastian Faulks to pen PG Wodehouse novel

Best-selling writer Sebastian Faulks is to breathe new life into much-loved characters Jeeves and Wooster after being approached by the estate of PG Wodehouse.

Television choices: A calculating mother and her very handsome sum

TV pick of the week: The Making of a Lady

The Skyfall premiere, the after party and the after after party

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Hugh Laurie, Hugh Bonneville, Example and Daisy Lowe are among stars to attend alternative Bond events

Ben Elton: Live From Planet Earth, has ended after a mere three
episodes

Ben Elton pens new sitcom about local government

Ben Elton has written a new sitcom set in the dysfunctional world of local government.

Hugh Laurie - comedian, actor, now musician - on stage

Hugh Laurie & The Copper Bottom Band, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Marilyn Manson, Brixton Academy, London

He's an English actor who's as authentically bluesy as a game of cricket – but Hugh Laurie does a great impression of an American roots original

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie reunite for Oscar Wilde family

Stephen Fry will be reunited with comedy partner Hugh Laurie in a new animated film based on the work of Oscar Wilde, it has been announced.

Actor Hugh Laurie as Dr Gregory House. At its peak, he was watched by 81.8 million people in 66 countries.

House finally hangs up his stethoscope

After eight years, Hugh Laurie calls time on the most popular television doctor in the world.

The Saturday quiz answers

1. Esperanto.

Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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