Life and Style Bercow's reliably indiscreet daily missives are notably absent from cyberspace

The costly libel judgment against the Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow has been widely seen as a timely warning for other would-be controversialists on social media.

MP second home claims a third down

MPs' claims for second home expenses slumped by more than a third in the wake of the scandal that engulfed Westminster, it was disclosed today.

Diary: A man in control of his media

Anyone previously unbriefed as to whether Craig Oliver was a blue-sky-thinking Steve Hilton-alike or an Andy Coulson-esque attack dog has their answer courtesy of this compelling photograph of Oliver arriving for his first day at work. Number 10's new communications chief, or so his accessories would attest, is a fellow who gives good flow-chart. Let's start with the "Beats by [Dr] Dre" designer headphones, denoting a middle-aged man keen to convince passers-by that he was once deeply into hip-hop, and thus requires "cans" with superior bass quality in order to enjoy his old Public Enemy albums on the move.

Diary: Beware the Trojan panda, Nick

The Chinese state can be devilishly ingenious. Consider, if you will, giant pandas: the world's most effective sleeper agents. As the latest issue of Prospect points out, Nixon was presented with a pair of pandas on his 1972 visit to China; just four months later his cronies broke into Democrat headquarters at the Watergate. Later that year, Japanese PM Kakuei Tanaka took delivery of the deceptively cuddly Lan Lan and Kang Kang; he was soon ousted, and embroiled in a bribery scandal. Ted Heath, too, was given a pair of bears mere months before yielding No 10 to Harold Wilson. In 2000, the outgoing Clinton-Gore administration accepted pandas in recognition of years of careful diplomacy with the Chinese. A week later, Gore conceded the presidential election to Bush. And who signed for the UK's new pair of pandas this month? None other than Nick "29 Shags" Clegg. Canny one, that Cameron.

Segway rider guilty of travelling on pavement

An unemployed factory worker today became the first person in the UK to be convicted of riding a Segway on a pavement.

Diary: Big shoes for Morgan...

To the Mandarin Oriental, where Piers Morgan was hosting his own farewell bash, before setting sail for America to take over CNN's interview show from Larry King. Duncan Bannatyne was in strident form as he regaled me, at some length, with his views on tax avoidance.

Dom Joly: Jungle fever!

Our much-reduced writer tells all about his longed-for release from a sodden camp, strange alliances, and a desperate quest for the Test score

Terence Blacker: Sometimes you can be too dignified

It has been one of those moments when, as if we have suddenly been spooked by the chilly uncertainties of today and tomorrow, there has been a general scurrying back to the warmth and safety of yesterday. The newspapers have earnestly discussed weddings, public schools, frocks and class. Broadcasters of the old-codger school have bemoaned how fings ain't wot they used to be. A couple of veteran British pin-ups have been back in the headlines.

Diary: Bagshawe's novel ideas

Tory totty Louise Bagshawe MP gave new meaning to the phrase "in-house publicity" by garnering a series of plugs for her book Passion in the Commons this summer. I can now exclusively reveal the plot of her as-yet-untitled next novel, which also follows Desire (2010), Glitz (2008), Glamour (2007) and Sparkles (2006).

Snake bites Lembit Opik on Celebrity challenge

Former MP Lembit Opik has been bitten by a snake while enduring the latest I'm A Celebrity challenge.

Diary: Not quite like a Rolling Stone

After it presumably became clear the man himself couldn't be bothered, who better to read the audio version of Keith Richards' memoirs than dashing shipmate Johnny Depp?

Diary: More monkey business

For those of you pedantic enough to question the merits of any column that resorts to revealing "news" about pretend people, move along.

Diary: Murdoch's laureate of lunacy goes too far

Will this vile persecution of Andy Coulson never cease? What days these have been for any PhD student researching the thesis entitled "Conspiracy Theory and the Murdoch Empire: Seeking a Common Thread". We'll come to Sky Box Office at the end, but first to Glenn Beck, Fox's lachrymose laureate of lunacy, who last week launched the most overtly anti-semitic attack any mainstream media in any western democracy has known in decades against George Soros, a hate figure to the far right for championing progressive causes.

First Night: I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! ITV1, 9pm

Humiliation, hunger and insect-eating, but not much jungle fever

Village People: Lembit Opik to reveal feline side in return to limelight

Lembit Opik, the former Liberal Democrat MP, is so ridiculous that he is rather lovable.

Diary: Never met – done a duet

Dizzee Rascal, named Ultimate Man of the Year at this week's Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards, has teamed up with Cheryl Cole (named Woman of the Year at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, which were in June, in case there's any confusion) for her remarkably non-awful track "Everybody, Everyone" from new album Messy Little Teardrops. But the two, he tells me, never shared a studio. "It was like it never happened," Mr Rascal admitted at the Cosmo event. "I never saw her. They sent me three tracks and I basically picked the one I thought would be best. It saves money on planes: imagine going halfway across the world in first class then deciding that you don't like the person. If they just send you a track, you can get it done in your own studio, in your comfort zone.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick