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From essay deadlines to heating bills, is it really the most wonderful time of the year?

Noddy Holder must be glad he wrote 'Merry Xmas Everybody' as he'll earn £800,000 this year from royalties.

Slade's 'Merry Xmas Everybody' to rake in over £520,000 in royalties by end of the year

Slade's 1973 hit still features on almost every festive playlist

The Conversation: Sports presenter Mark Chapman on the Premier League, celebrities and taking over Match of the Day 2

You've started presenting Match of the Day 2 - how's it going?

The Voice coach Jessie J has taken against Will.i.am's song choices

The Voice: Angry Jessie J on the warpath over Will.i.am's 'horrific' song choices

Jessie J had some harsh words for fellow coaches and contestants alike in The Voice as she blasted one of Will.i.am's song choices as "horrific".

Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber...Who doesn't want Mariah for Christmas?

Yesterday Justin Bieber tweeted a link to his 2011 Christmas duet with Mariah Carey of "All I Want For Christmas Is You", and it already has over 25,000 retweets.

Let's give Megan Fox - and all new mums - a break

Could Megan Fox give me her night nurse's number? We could do with a few more hours sleep in our family

Stuff of fairytales: The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan

The Week In Radio: Why this New York story will always be number one

Don't you love this time of year? The heady waft of mince pies, the sweet smiles of small children, the gentle sound of... Noddy Holder screaming "IT'S CHRIIIIIISTMAAAAAAAAAS" at the top of his lungs. When Noddy starts yelling on "Merry Xmas Everybody", even dogs smother their ears.

Album review: Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox (Atlantic)

Sweet soul music as Bruno Mars the mimic finds his own voice

Lee Daniels

Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels says there are not enough roles for African American actors in films

The Oscar-nominated director of Precious said today that there are not enough roles for African American actors in films.

Whitney Houston took cocaine before drowning

Whitney Houston died as a result of accidental drowning, but cocaine use and heart disease were contributing factors, a coroner said.

How music video thrilled in ways that radio never could

As MTV celebrates its 30th birthday, Hardeep Phull looks back on the scandals and successes of a pioneer in pop television

Album: Jill Scott, The Light Of The Sun (Blues Babe/Warner Bros)

Jill Scott is perhaps best known now as Precious Ramotswe in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and spends an increasing amount of time acting.

Precious Little Talent, Trafalgar Studios, London

Playwright Ella Hickson has been quietly making a name for herself, and this, her second play, smartly directed by James Dacre in the smaller of the Trafalgar studios, is a good indicator of her talent.

Album: Katy B, On A Mission (Rinse)

The latest Brit School alumnus to be saddled with the weight of unfair expectations, Katy B blends R&B vocals with the dubstep arrangements of Geeneus, Zinc and Magnetic Man to create a distinctive homegrown UK club sound.

Gabby Sidibe shows her Precious mettle

The Oscar-nominated star of last year's sleeper hit tells Kaleem Aftab about her new role, opposite comedy hero Eddie Murphy
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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
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment