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Many of us will have booked our holidays by now and bought the sun-cream too. But what to read under the palm tree or on the beach or the staycation sofa?

Angelos Epithemiou and Friends, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

BBC2's Shooting Stars provided the big break for Angelos Epithemiou and in a very short space of time, the dishevelled clown, who owes so much to the stylings of his hosts Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, has enjoyed a suitably stellar ascent.

Susan Boyle to take on Lady Gaga at Grammys

Susan Boyle will take on Lady Gaga and Katy Perry in a bid to bag a Grammy.

Tom Sutcliffe: Death comes to us all – and very useful it is too

Social Studies: Our deaths in the abstract have a social utility. They make space for those behind us

Robyn: 'I just want to be normal'

She spent her childhood travelling with her parents' avant-garde theatre troupe, and her teen years as a pop puppet – so is it any wonder that Sweden's most idiosyncratic pop star craves simplicity? Hugh Montgomery talks to Robyn about TV talent shows, youth gangs and Lady Gaga

JB Shorts 4, Joshua Brooks Bar, Manchester

The little festival of six playets known as JB Shorts is becoming something of a tradition in Manchester. This is the fourth year in which a group of writers and actors from TV soaps get together to do the kind of work that they wouldn't be allowed to do on the telly but which was what brought them into writing and acting in the first place. Denizens of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Holby City, Casualty, Two Pints of Lager, Heartbeat produce two hours that are polished, poignant and provocative.

The Queen's corsetier hits hard times as bra wars intensify

Rigby & Peller, the corsetier to the Queen and many Hollywood A-listers, may offer bras up to a formidable size M cup. Where profits are concerned, however, it is not so well-endowed: according to its latest annual accounts, the company made a loss of £214,000 last year, compared with a pre-tax profit of £168,000 the year before.

All that glitters: Winter wardrobe sparkle

Brighten up your winter wardrobe with twinkling trousers, shiny shirts and jazzy jackets – just don’t wear them all at once, says Harriet Walker

Hip-hop's Lady Gaga leads a new generation

The rising stars of rap are consigning bling, booty and drive-bys to the history books. Gillian Orr finds new reason in the rhymes.

Lady Gaga's meat dress is preserved for ever – as beef jerky

When the question arises of what to do with a special dress after its first outing, most head for the dry cleaners and buy a plastic sleeve to keep the dust off.

Lady Gaga appeals for gay military law reform

Pop star Lady Gaga visited the US state of Maine on the eve of a key Senate vote to urge its two US senators to help repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.

DJ Taylor: Lady Gaga and the TUC prove there's nowt new under t' sun

With the BBC celebrating the cultural emergence of the North and the press reviving the spectre of union power, the past week has been like stepping back in time

From teen idol to Twitter drain: the inescapable Justin Bieber

You may not have heard of Justin Bieber and could be excused for failing to recognise him were he seated next to you on the bus – which is unlikely because he's too busy eating the internet, site by site, gigabyte by gigabyte.

Harriet Walker: Time to make STDs taboo again

With infections among the young on the rise, where's our sense of shame?

Lady Gaga is "queen of Twitter'

There may be no reliable way to make money off Twitter yet, but Lady Gaga seems pleased that she surpassed Britney Spears over the weekend as the tweeter with the most followers.

Lady Gaga to steal Britney Spears' Twitter crown

In a symbolic exchanging of the pop princess crown, Lady Gaga will soon become the world's top Twitter user by overtaking current champ Britney Spears' number of followers.

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Day In a Page

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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?