Voices Public pain: Valérie Trierweiler has to still to endure the humiliation of facing the world

Being beautiful, successful and rich doesn’t protect you from pain, but when endured in the spotlight, the results can be devastating

Joy, By Jonathan Lee

Less funny business, please

Observations: Be a work of art. It's not a stitch-up

Would you like to get a job knitting in an art gallery and become a living work of art? Dubbed the Turner Prize of Russian Art, a new exhibition in London will showcase highlights of Russia's Innovatsia Prize.

Exhilaration: the Velodrome in the Olympic Park, London

Gold, By Chris Cleave

This story of cycling prowess and Olympic rivalry pushes friendship and love to its limits.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009, By Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen arrives in the present, and surveys our contemporary culture with dismay

DVD: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Warner)

Guy Ritchie’s second Sherlock Holmes film improves on his first in every respect.

Amol Rajan: A democratic forum that actually gets things done

The most thrilling carnival of democracy in Britain takes place in the capital tomorrow night. London Citizens, the largest alliance of community groups in the country, are hosting their mayoral hustings in Methodist Central Hall. Anyone anywhere who thinks our democracy or civic activism are having a bad time of it should read reports of the evening, or better still, watch the video and then re-evaluate.

Trials Evolution – Review

Trials HD is rightly considered an XBLA classic. Its mix of physics-enabled motocross platforming and second-shaving, leaderboard-climbing gameplay creating an addictive, if sometimes frustrating, experience. Trials Evolution, its inevitable sequel, ups the ante in almost every conceivable way: the explosions are more ridiculous, the tracks more fiendish, the veneer of slack-jawed extreme sports jargon more hilarious.

Melisande! What Are Dreams? By Hillel Halkin

Hillel Halkin's touching novel about love and friendship opens in New York in the 1950s and ends on a remote Greek island in the 1980s.

Brian May

Here come the curls

Queen's Brian May talks to film composer David Arnold about music and movies

Lord Sugar with last year's Apprentice winner Tom Pellereau

You don't fool me, Lord Sugar. You're just a big teddy bear

As 'The Apprentice' returns to BBC1 for its eighth series this week, Sarah Morrison discovers that the multimillionaire host has a softer side

<p><strong>1. Topman</strong></p>
<p>Too much knitwear is never a bad thing and depending on the thickness of the yarn, woollens can be worn at almost any time of the year. This crew neck is great all year round.</p>
<p><strong>Where:</strong> <a href=topman.com

How much: £38

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The 50 Best affordable fashion

Stylists Lee Holmes and Eliisa Makin go in search of bargains

Pensioner celebrates 21st birthday

An 84-year-old woman will turn back time tomorrow as she celebrates her 21st birthday.

DVD: Captain America – The First Avenger, For retail & rental (Paramount)

The nice thing about Captain America is that, unlike most superhero movies, it's set during the Second World War, and it's true to the two-fisted, square-jawed spirit of a 1940s Saturday matinee serial.

Can a parenting course bring peace to your home?

Vicious rivalry between her young sons was starting to get Heidi Scrimgeour down. So she signed up for a course that draws on ideas fromneuroscience, epigenetics and psychology...

Build a better future for your business and for you

The UK economy seems to be in a period of very slow growth or possibly even stagnation. At the same time, the Government is repeatedly reminding us that smaller businesses will be the engines of growth and job creation in the recovery.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
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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
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Streets ahead: Venice
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The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, was among those to be archived
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The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
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