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Democratic party strategist who guided presidential candidates like Humphrey, McGovern and Mondale

COMEDY: CHRISTMAS HIGHLIGHTS

Rainer Hersch 27 & 28 Dec

God lends a hand in daytime TV ratings war

IT'S BEEN a long wait under the heat of the studio lights but, at last, the host of America's newest daytime talk show emerges from behind the set. His guest is to be an adolescent girl and the topic is, "Why my mother is my worst enemy". Taping will start in a moment, but first he wants to meet us. He chats a while, before bowing his head and uttering a prayer. Finally, we join him in making the sign of the cross.

Christmas Shows: Cinderella: the makeover

Susie McKenna, panto doyenne, is treading a fine line. Can she mix ancient and modern at the Hackney Empire? By David Benedict

Christmas Shows: It's panto time, kids! Oh no it isn't...

From Widow Twankey to `no room at the inn', Christmas shows are back. What's best, the old-fashioned or the new-fangled approach? By Paul Taylor

Parents: could do better

Fifty per cent of adults say they need lessons in looking after their kids. ROLAND HOWARD returns to school

Broadcasting: Red sauce goes nicely with velour

BRIAN VINER ON TELEVISION

Leading Article: Celebrity countdown

POLITICS AND entertainment have long been soul mates in the United States. But it is becoming increasingly hard to draw the line between the two. This autumn, NBC will broadcast The West Wing, a take on life in the White House. The show's advisers include Patrick Caddell, a former White House strategist. He could soon have another job: advising Warren Beatty, who, worried by the lack of attention given to serious issues such as inequality, is considering the presidency. They could be up against their Hollywood neighbour Cybill Shepherd, who is contemplating running on an anti-abortion platform, and a former basketball star, Bill Bradley. A wrestler is a state governor; turn on the TV, and there is the ex-mayor of Cincinnati, Jerry Springer, hosting his ludicrous talk shows.

Dumb Watch: Toilet talk from Jerry Springer

ITV HAS made no secret of its ambition to establish Jerry Springer at the heart of British television schedules. It is running a British version of his trademark confessional talk shows, albeit with more verbal and fewer physical brawls than the US original.

Arts: EDINBURGH FESTIVAL '99: Fringe: Pick of the Day

l Do You Come Here Often?

Glenda to get real on the Jerry Springer show

THIS IS a tale of two women and one city. Glenda is a glamorous former actress and politician. Susan is a businesswoman with an interest in eastern European transport.

Arts & Edinburgh: Pick of the Day

Fittings - The Final Freakshow

Jerry Springer `to go for Senate'

HIS EXPERIENCE with angry, dysfunctional chair-throwing extroverts may stand Jerry Springer in good stead if he takes the next logical step in his career: standing for the US Senate.

Theatre: Freak out, c'est chic

Roll up, roll up: the freak show is back. It doesn't get more dangerous and politically incorrect than this. But what if the actors are disabled, dictating the terms, and making you laugh?

Network: Diary of a nobody can make gripping reading

Journal writers are abandoning their bedside diaries and setting up websites. You can now tap into the lives of thousands of people, by accessing the internet. By Caroline Lister

Jerry Springer aims to move from brawn to brain

JERRY SPRINGER, America's "Titan of Trash", is turning his hand to becoming British television's next Michael Parkinson. He is, according to Carlton Television, coming to the UK to host a chat show devoid of almost constant physical violence and confessional outpourings of sexual deviance.
Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
Sport
Lewis Hamtilon and pole-sitter Nico Rosberg
SportShould F1's most aggressive driver curb his instincts in title decider?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin