Arts and Entertainment

The Week in Radio: Williams was quick on his feet, and willing to cover mishaps with self-deprecating humour

Album: Ida Maria, Fortress Round My Heart (RCA)

Ida Maria grew up in Norway with little to do but wish she was Iggy Pop and act mildly antisocial.

Album: Aimee Mann, @#%&*! Smilers (Superego)

Perhaps heartened by the (artistic) success of 2006's One More Drifter in the Snow – the only serious addition to the ranks of Christmas albums since Low's Christmas – Aimee Mann and her producer Paul Bryan continue its vein of artful, elegant melancholia into an album that attempts to counterbalance on its own the vast, overbearing weight of empty cheer habitually pumped out by the entertainment industry.

Persepolis (12A)

Music & Me: Yan of British Sea Power

The first record I bought was…

The Wurzels’ “Combine Harvester” from Natland Village Hall jumble sale, in Kendal. Strange how fate works as British Sea Power had a lovely tug of war behind Shepherds Bush Empire with The Wurzels a few years later.

Hans Teeuwen, Soho Theatre, London

Hans Teeuwen's absurdist approach is much more literal than the cartoon surrealism of Eddie Izzard or the ludicrous ham-antics of a Chris Lynam. An unholy mix of Nick Cave, Chris Morris, Jim Carrey and Iggy Pop (and probably a few more besides), the Dutch comedian is hard to take your eyes off. His opening gambit for this show is to appear crippled with nerves until he tweaks his nipples for relief. The awkward energy is maintained throughout and personifies the erratic narratives of his "anti-anecdotes", which feel improvised (though they are not), as if he was compiling a story by taking each line from a different person.

Secret plans to protect Blair from terror attack left in hotel

Secret plans to protect Tony Blair from a terrorist attack were left in a hotel, it was claimed today.

Bay Garnett: Doyenne of jumble-sale chic

But does the queen of 'thrifting' practise what she preaches? Caroline Kamp pays her a visit

How young Serbs rocked the castle

The Exit festival in Novi Sad began as a massive political protest. Radio 1's Annie Nightingale joined the throng this year

Oasis: Mad for it? Not me

Liam and Noel's new album is being hailed as a return to their former glory. For Paul Morley though, Oasis will always be a parody of themselves - or at least a parody of a band that wants to be the Beatles

Henry Rollins, Hammersmith Apollo, London

Henry Rollins left his audience tonight with a quote from Iggy Pop about having to work to keep up your hate. That the former Punk frontman turned spoken word artist did not exit to one of his own numerous quotes on the subject (for example: "When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts" or "To hate is to show you care...") was a telling summation of the evening. The Rollins diet of hate, physical and mental discipline and social change has itself remained constant throughout a quarter of a century and expressed via numerous books and albums. Under a second term of his nemesis George Bush Jr, his appetite is still healthy, but what he served up did not get the juices flowing.

Album: Various Artists

Gimme Skelter, Buddyhead/Nettwerk

Hurricane, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

Blown away by snooker's great anti-hero

Iggy Pop, Brixton Academy, London

A lust for self-destruction
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital