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

Collector's editions? No thanks, Radiohead

Re-releasing old albums with a few extras offers little to fans, says Elisa Bray

Birthday party? £1m should help it go with a bit of a swing

The billionaire founder of Phones 4U, John Cauldwell, hired Leona Lewis to perform at his daughter Libby's 21st birthday party last week. The cost? £1,000,000.

Katy Holland: American-style residential summer camps for kids

Are we there yet? Record numbers of kids are being packed off for fun and adventure

Last Night's Television: Building The Olympic Dream<br />Ford's Dagenham Dream, BBC4

"It's not about money or dividends or palpable stuff," said Martin Green, the head of ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics. "It's about intangible things like pride and inspiration." Virtues that, it should be remembered, often have to be paid for with money and dividends and palpable stuff. For example, Martin's budget for the eight-minute handover ceremony in Beijing – you remember, the tactful one with the exploding bus and Leona Lewis on a stick – was £2m. I work that out at just north of £4,166 for every second of national embarrassment, which seems eye-wateringly palpable to me. The first part of Building the Olympic Dream, a three-part series about preparations for the 2012 Olympics, followed the organisers and performers as they worked their guts out preparing the British anticlimax to accompany the Chinese closing ceremonies.

Snow Patrol earn little from Leona cover

Gary Lightbody has revealed he won't be raking in the royalties from Leona Lewis' cover of his hit song Run.

X Factor single sets European sales record

X Factor winner Alexandra Burke's debut single Hallelujah has set a European record, beating Leona Lewis, a previous champion of the show.

Album: Akon, Freedom (Island)

Senegalese R&B star Akon may be currently the world's most successful African performer, his own eight million album sales augmented by hit collaborations with the likes of Gwen Stefani and Leona Lewis.

Coldplay crowned kings of iTunes

Coldplay was the hottest iTunes album download this year: Its "Viva la Vida" was crowned the best-selling album of 2008, while Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" was named the top-selling single.

Album: Beyoncé, I Am ... Sasha Fierce, (Columbia)

Not such an independent woman after all

Metronomy, ULU, London

Three men in black stand on a red-lit stage, each with a glowing white orb stuck to his chest. At first sight and sound, Metronomy may seem like just another post-Klaxons dance-pop group, but appearances are deceptive.

Leona Lewis: Hackney beats Hollywood

She's a sensation Stateside, but Leona Lewis is refusingto swap the East End for the West Coast. Rob Sharp explores her home turf

Estelle wins two Mobos for her mother's shelf

The singer Estelle won two awards at last night's Mobos, on a night dominated by British artists.

Downing Street diet: The incredible shrinking Prime Minister

Healthy break leaves PM a stone lighter, but Tory leader seems to have put on weight

Pandora: Conspiracy theories abound over BBC's London bombings film

The BBC has found itself under siege from all sides over its decision to make a documentary about the bombings that took place in London on 7 July, 2005.

Brendan Burns, Assembly, Edinburgh<br/>Pappy's Fun Club, Pleasance, Edinburgh<br/>Andrew Maxwell, Pleasance, Edinburgh<br/>Ivan Brackenbury, Pleasance, Edinburgh

It's not all a bundle of laughs on the Edinburgh Fringe this year, but the best comedians still hit the spot
Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on