News Emergency workers battle to contain the flames

Grade-two listed Victorian terrace was left a shell

Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, London

Despite Glastonbury's moves ever further mainstream, London's mud-free alternative remains distinctive. Who could imagine Somerset hosting a tent-full of fans crooning "Lifted" by Nineties soul-poppers Lighthouse Family?

Pulp, Isle of Wight Festival, Newport<br/>LMFAO, King's College, London

In these dark days of indie-rock conformity, Pulp's outsider genius is as essential as it ever was

Women mobilise for first British 'SlutWalk' rally

Thousands of provocatively-dressed women are expected to march through London next month when the growing "SlutWalk" phenomenon reaches these shores.

Body found in London's Serpentine

A body was discovered in one of Britain's most visited lakes today.

Offenders scrub up for the royal wedding

In the cold, windswept tunnels beneath the royal parks they stand, in single file with mop and bucket, their heads bent, faces set in stony disconsolation. They are a 21st-century chain gang reluctantly returning the lustre to the shabbier corners of the royal wedding route. Over their blue boiler suits are DayGlo orange jackets with the words "Community Payback" emblazoned on the back, neatly offsetting their bright yellow marigolds.

Salad Days, Riverside Studios, London

"We said we wouldn't look back" goes the wistful refrain but, like Lot's wife, we always do, and we don't even turn into a pillar of salt. Just jelly. The last West End revival of this delightful 1954 revue-cum-musical was a bit of a trial. Everyone tried too hard. But the little opera company Tête-à-Tête really does it delightfully well. "Oh, look at me, I'm dancing," cry the helpless Hyde Park habitués as they are spun into limb-wrangling postures of marionettish animation – brilliant choreography by Quinny Sacks – at the touch of an outdoor magic piano.

Rock star's son faces quiz over Cenotaph protest

The son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour could be questioned by police after he admitted swinging from a Union Flag on the Cenotaph during the student protests.

Abu Dhabi bank snaps up last One Hyde Park unit

The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank is to pay a record rent for the final retail unit at One Hyde Park, the luxury Knightsbridge development managed by the Candy brothers in London.

Albert Smothers

Albert "Little Smokey" Smothers, who died on 20 November aged 71, was a veteran Chicago blues guitarist and singer, a versatile sideman and influential teacher of younger bluesmen.

Do you remember the last time? Pulp reform for summer shows

In a move likely to be greeted with the dusting off of drainpipe trousers nationwide, Pulp have announced they are the latest Britpop band to reform.

Pulp to re-form for Wireless festival

Britpop band Pulp are reuniting to perform on stage together for the first time in almost 15 years, the former chart stars announced today.

Sid Rawle

David McKittrick's obituary of Sid Rawle (1 November) omits a mention of Rawle's appearance in Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's film Winstanley (1976), writes John Smurthwaite. The film concerns the proto-communist experiment of the Diggers in the aftermath of the English Civil War. Rawle and his friends were brought in to play the anarchic gang of Ranters who erupt into the Diggers' commune.

Fast-spreading new disease threatens plane trees

With its broad canopy and majestic height, the London plane tree is as intrinsic a part of the capital's Royal Parks as the deck chairs on the lawns of St James's and the rowing boats on the Serpentine. But now the ubiquity of Plantanus hispanica is under threat from a fast-growing fungal menace previously unknown in Britain.

'Administration problems' blamed for Pope Benedict's ticket slump

Thousands of tickets for open-air masses during Pope Benedict's visit to Britain this week are yet to be taken up just four days before he is due to arrive.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
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Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
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