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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
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?