Arts and Entertainment X-factor winner Sam Bailey's debut single 'Skyscraper' is this year's Christmas number one

Robbie Williams keeps One Direction off the top spot in the albums chart

Plan B, top, Leona Lewis and Labrinth working on Project Hackney

Plan B returns to his old school sin-bin – but this time as mentor

Musician trains east London youths to perform with him on stage

The real kings and queens of the charts

These songwriters may not be household names, but their music is everywhere

Diary: No treats for the Cabinet

Sarah Vine – Times columnist, domestic goddess and wife of the Education Secretary, Michael Gove – is, as her readers will be aware, a keen baker. Last week, I'm very reliably informed, she produced a particularly large batch of flapjacks and, unable to feed them to her family fast enough, gave them to her husband as a treat for his hungry cabinet colleagues. Pickles, Clarke et al, she surely concluded, are classic flapjack-lovers. Gove dutifully transported the tasty snacks to Downing Street in a Tupperware container. On his way to the Cabinet Room, however, he was detained by that day's security detail, who informed him, in no uncertain terms, that the Tupperware – not to mention the flapjacks within – was a security risk, and would have to stay with them. So Gove went to Cabinet empty-handed, and Ken Clarke's tea went unaccompanied. But who, we might well ask, ate all the flapjacks?

Justin Bieber teams with PETA for new campaign

Justin Bieber has teamed up with PETA to urge his fans to adopt a pet.

Bill Clinton is named the animal world's new best friend

The former president has become a vegan. (There's just the small matter of the fish)

Leona Gage: Beauty queen who became an instant celebrity after being stripped of her Miss USA title

In 1957, Miss Maryland, Leona Gage was chosen as Miss USA.

Dom Joly: Fatherhood is... going to a Leona Lewis concert

Sometimes it's really hard to be a parent. I'm very keen that my kids have decent taste in music, so I try my best to expose them to a wide variety of what I consider to be good stuff. I make monthly compilation CDs that I slip into my wife's car so that they can osmose it on their way to origami class. Whenever something terrible and hideous appears on telly, such as the Jonas Brothers or Hannah Montana, I'll try to get them to boo and put their hands on their ears. Basically, I do my best – but a lot still gets through. Part of the problem is television. You only realise once you're a parent that there are very few shows that a family can all watch together and enjoy. Sadly, most of the ones that fit this remit are Simon Cowell products. I like Cowell and do enjoy watching things like X Factor as it's well-produced televisual fodder. The problem is that the music is such unadulterated crap, and I feel as if I can see it seeping into my kids' suggestible brains.

iTunes passes 10bn downloads

Online music store iTunes has passed the 10 billion milestone for download sales.

Maya, By Alastair Campbell

Deceit, manipulation, bad news buried... Where does Alastair Campbell get his ideas from?

Dom Joly: I know all the leaders, and Sarah Brown gets my vote

I'm getting quite excited by the prospect of the general election. As a political anorak/ junkie I can't wait for all the accompanying coverage and gossip. Excitingly, this time we're even going to have three "presidential" debates. One thing is for sure, I'm going to be ready to cast my vote. I'm even going to be a little more informed than usual, thanks to my unusual interaction with all three party leaders in the past couple of years.

Billie Piper: 'I'm a selfish woman!'

As she reprises her turn in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, the pop star-cum-actress is relishing her roles as Belle de Jour – and a new mum

Not quite Top of the Pops: Stuck at Number Two for Christmas

For decades, megastars have felt the ignominy of coming second to a festive novelty record

Martin Lewis: Money man

The penny pincher and people's champion lost his Supreme Court battle this week. But his brand is flourishing in a time of recession

Album: Leona Lewis, Echo, (Syco/Sony)

The problem for Lewis on her follow-up album is that while this is the exact point at which she should be marking out her own territory, Echo feels and sounds even more a part of the X Factory than her debut album.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore