Arts and Entertainment

The Good Wife on More4 is in the midst of a reputation revision. Long-term fans of the smart, glossy legal drama, which began its fifth season on More4 last night, often complain it's not given the recognition it deserves. It's true that among crime and law procedurals (TV shows where a problem is raised and solved within a single episode) this is a show of unusual quality. But is The Good Wife really that good?

Joan Smith: Don't demonise singles: there's a lot of us about

Are they going to be issued with cats? More middle-aged men are living alone, according to new figures, and it goes without saying that they must be just as miserable as all the middle-aged single women we've heard about for years.

Being Modern: DVD box sets

Bruce Springsteen may have lamented flicking on the TV to find "57 Channels and Nothin' on", but these days such small-screen rage is decidedly démodé. For, whether there be 57 channels or 357, why would we waste time seething at the schedules when we have our trusty repositories of high-end drama to watch any time we please?

Keep cool under pressure with Rescue Remedy

Ever felt that the demands of your day are sometimes a bit much? True, the more you juggle, the better you can get at it, but for all our modern lifestyles and labour-saving devices, sometimes it can feel as if all we have won is the right to a pressure-cooker life. Where online supermarket shopping at midnight, 6 am alarm calls, or speed yoga classes in your lunch hour are increasingly becoming the norm. What can you do?

Album: Metropole Orkest / Vince Mendoza, Fast City (BHM)

This tribute to the late composer Joe Zawinul by Holland's fabulous 48-piece Metropole Orchestra is something of a missed opportunity.

Men Should Weep, National Theatre: Lyttelton, London

The National Theatre has been both shrewd and fortunate in its timing as it launches Josie Rourke's splendid revival of Men Should Weep in the wake of a comprehensive spending review that clobbers the poorest among us. Written in 1947, Ena Lamont Stewart's wonderfully rich but rarely performed play focuses on a Glaswegian family's struggle for survival during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was notably revived by 7:84 Company in Scotland in 1982 during the Thatcherite recession. Now, when one of the characters says "It's only rich folks can keep theirselves tae theirselves. Folk like us hev tae depend on their neighbours when they're needin' help," you wonder what price David Cameron's Big Society.

Flexible working right to be extended

The right to request flexible working is to be extended to parents of children under 18 from next year, benefiting an estimated 300,000 people, the Government announced today.

Wigan team-effort brings curtain down on Leeds era

Leeds 6 Wigan 26

Pianomania: Notes in the key of madness

The story of concert pianism is strewn with madness – how could it not be, when the demands of the job are so insane? What sane person would build their life round juggling millions of notes from memory and without safety nets? Last week saw the release of Pianomania, a documentary film about that prince of piano-technicians Stefan Knupfer, in which the madness underlying the method of one of the world's greatest virtuosos is laid bare. Pierre-Laurent Aimard is going to record some Bach, and wants a piano that can combine the intimate effect of a clavichord with the deep sonority of an organ and the blaze of a concert Steinway.

My Edinburgh: Alex Horne, comedian

This will be my son's first Edinburgh Festival. He was only six weeks old in August last year so we didn't think he'd appreciate it. I hope he's ready.

McGuire steals show and sends Rhinos to Wembley

Leeds Rhinos 32 St Helens 28: Poacher's late try earns Leeds their first Challenge Cup final since 2005

England give Shah another chance and call up Lumb

England's selectors, who pride themselves on delicate use of the scalpel in amending teams, yesterday wielded a broadsword. They may not quite see it in such terms but their performance squad of elite players for the summer of 2010 showed that 11 players who made the 2009 version have been omitted.

Free ENO podcast: Fiona Shaw

Fiona Shaw talks to Edward Seckerson about the not inconsiderable demands of juggling Restoration comedy with German expressionism.

Pierrot Bidon: Creator of Archaos and a pioneer of the New Circus

Pierric Pillot, aka Pierrot Bidon, was the creator of Archaos and one of the founding fathers of New Circus.

Dad's Diary: 'There are some aspects of his former carpet-crawling character that he still clings to'

COMPETITIVE PARENTS. It's a phrase that's sure to send a shiver down the spine of any right-minded mother or father. Of course, every parent wants their precious little darlings to shine, but there's a fine line between being supportive and being pushy and obsessive. Cross it at your peril.

sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballArsenal vs QPR match report
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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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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