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Outlook Champagne bonuses, Christmas cracker competitions, "Grand in your Hand" contests: welcome to the wacky world of Lloyds bank's staff incentive plans.

The Men Who Stare at Goats, Venice Film Festival

Psychic soldiers lose the plot

Telstar, Nick Moran, 118 mins, (15)

The story of Sixties pop producer Joe Meek and his north London hit factory is told not as tragedy, but as farce

Telstar, Nick Moran, 119 mins, (15)

Starring Con O'Neill, Pam Ferris, Kevin Spacey, James Corden

20 transfer targets coming to a club near you (maybe)

From the next generation of Brazilian boy wonders, to out-of-contract European stars, Glenn Moore looks past the usual suspects to scout players in Britain and abroad who could change the face of the Premier League

Leading article: The usual suspects

He was a man of no fixed abode; a pathological liar who shared a blood type with the killer. He was known to the police, having been a prolific burglar who was placed in a borstal aged 11. Sean Hodgson was one of the "usual suspects" certainly, but he was also innocent. And yesterday he was set free having spent the past 27 years languishing in prison for the rape and murder of a barmaid, Teresa de Simone, in 1979.

DVD: 21

'21' is based on the true story of the MIT maths whiz kids who made a fortune by counting cards in Las Vegas in the 1990s.

Album: Various artists, Sound of the World Presents: Beyond the Horizon (WCJ)

Never mind Womad or the Radio 3 awards, the highlight of any self-respecting world music enthusiast's year should be Charlie Gillett's annual compilation. As ever the 34 tracks from 28 different countries make for a compelling and cohesive listen thanks to the DJ's ear for a strong melody, a compelling vocalist, and a rhythm track which is far removed from the staple kit-drum labourings of most Western pop music. Only a few of the usual suspects are present, such as Orchestra Baobab and Manu Chao, but fear not, this is all quality merchandise and you'll enjoy the journey.

21 (12A)

Jim Sturgess plays a brilliant but impecunious maths student who's recruited by his professor (Kevin Spacey).

R.E.M., Royal Albert Hall, London

Stipe masters fine art of the comeback

Lonely Hearts (15)

Speed-the-Plow, Old Vic, London

In Matthew Warchus's breakneck, intriguingly balanced revival of Speed-the-Plow, Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Spacey converge on the Old Vic stage to flesh out two of the characters in David Mamet's triangular 1988 satire on clashing values in Tinseltown.

First Night: Speed-the-Plow, The Old Vic, London

Bravura virtuosity is palpable but only at the expense of truth

Dance class war: The new battle against obesity

The Government is so concerned about the growing divide between a fat, depressed underclass and a slim-line elite that it is urging doctors to send the overweight to dance classes. By Marie Woolf and Francis Elliott
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'