One FM: singularly unsensational

With media attention focusing on the sweeping changes at Radio 4 and the success story of Radio 2, the recent appointment of Andy Parfitt as Radio One controller has slipped by rather quietly (just an interview and a few column inches). Yet, Matthew

Rock: They just refuse to grow up

The band's preacher-prophet pens words that singe. Their music spells dread. Ryan Gilbey listens again to the The Fall and finds them as brutal and driven as ever.

Education: Passed/failed: Michael Palin

Michael Palin, 54, is an actor and writer. Originally one of the full Monty (Python) team, he is currently presenting `Full Circle: With Michael Palin' on Sunday evenings and is also autographing copies of his book of the BBC1 series. Previous travel documentaries include `Pole to Pole'. He wrote the script of the film `American Friends', the West End play `The Weekend' and the novel `Hemingway's Chair'.

ESTABLISHED ALTERNATIVE

JOHN PEEL

POP & JAZZ

Girlfrendo, Reading Festival, Doc Martens stage (0181-963 0940/ 0541 500 044) tomorrow

Country: A hobnailed rising in the hills

Duff Hart-Davis was there at the start of the countrymen's great march to London

LAST NIGHT: Review of "The Vanishing Man"

The somewhat open ending of The Vanishing Man (ITV) suggests that last night's comedy thriller was intended as a pilot. One can only hope that it proves more competent than the one played by Neil Morrissey, a man who climbs into his twin-engined plane without a pre-flight inspection, and then stows a set of golf-clubs in the front seat, where they are virtually guaranteed to rearrange his instrument panel at the first quiver of turbulence. He can't even claim ignorance as a mitigating factor: "I was carrying golf clubs on the plane," he says wearily, after being jailed for plutonium smuggling. "The metal sometimes interferes with the compass." His lawyer, stunned by this explanation for a radar-dodging approach back to England, summarises his predicament: "If I don't believe you, how can I make a court believe you?" And if she doesn't believe him, where does that leave us, grappling by now with an armful of improbabilities?

National Service? Aahh, the drill of it all!

The secret of a clean toilet is keeping the door locked. Tim Minogue rifles the Army files of some famous recruits

THE OLDEST SWINGER

ALL CHANGE AT RADIO 1

My old trouble: JOHN PEEL ON HIS ITCHY FEET

John Peel, broadcaster and journalist, is 57. He has been a Radio 1 DJ since 1967, during which time he has introduced punk, reggae, hip-hop and rap to an unsuspecting public.

JOHN PEEL AND ANDY KERSHAW : How We Met

John Peel, 55, was born in Heswell, near Liverpool. After finishing his military service in 1962, he began his career as a disc jockey in America. In 1967 he returned to Britain and joined Radio 1, where he has worked ever since. He lives in Suffolk with his wife Sheila and their four children. Andy Kershaw, 35, was born in Rochdale. After studying politics at Leeds University, he became a presenter for BBC2's Old Grey Whistle Test in 1984. A year later he joined Radio 1, on which he still hosts a weekly show. He lives in north London with his girlfriend Juliette.

Rock : Thrusts R Us with Wembley's neighbourhood crotch

Kelly rubs himself against every available surface like an embarrassing dog

POP MUSIC / Angela Lewis on pop

Country music is super cool. Orange-haired counter-culture punks whooped to ol' leather chops, Johnny Cash, at Glastonbury, the white blues warbles of Iris DeMent and Sheryl Crow at recent packed gigs drew block vote support from GLR listening, late-20s/early-30s types. . .great stuff. If only someone could tell Country 1035am. Never has Mr and Miss Serious Rock Music Lover been more willing to listen to country, now ultra-positive that the genre isn't all squelchy Jim Reeves hummings, twanging yeehah cliches and weepalong female mewings. During an afternoon listen to Country 1035 however, it was like the Nineties had never happened. Except of course, they played ruddy Garth Brooks. The presenter was a saddled-up, slick tricker, revelling in Nashville-speak naffness and Smashie and Nicey smarminess. Plus being on fuzzy medium wave, it reeked of 'Gold' station moriboundity. GLR programmers will not be losing any sleep.

Jungle warfare beats the thieves: James Ruppert suggests some tricks that may save your car from being stolen

As any driver in London knows, it's a jungle out there. The law of this jungle states that sooner, rather than later, you and your car are going to be the victims of a crime. Either your vehicle will disappear completely or the contents will be emptied into the pockets of a passing footpad. This is not just inconvenient, but costly.

Uncle might just approve: As new figures show a large slump in Radio 1's listeners, Adrian Reith applauds changes at the station and David Runciman deplores its mind-nubbing natter

My great-uncle John Charles Walsham Reith dedicated the BBC to 'the glory of God'. He was devoted to God and the BBC, in no particular order. But Uncle John probably wouldn't like The Big Holy One, the 'irreligious religious radio' show that I produce for Radio 1. 'The Joy of Sects', 'Heretic of the Week', 'The Actress and the Bishop' . . . not really his Lordship's cup of tea.
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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

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Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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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

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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
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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
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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
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The man who hunts giants

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