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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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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?