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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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
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Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

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Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

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The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
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Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape