Arts and Entertainment Piers Morgan thinks he's a better interviewer than his rivals

The former Britain's Got Talent judge isn't known for his modesty

I still miss George Best, says Michael Parkinson

Chat show legend Sir Michael Parkinson has spoken fondly of his friendship with George Best and told how he still misses the Northern Ireland footballing legend.

Michael Parkinson's pub may have his greatest chat-show hits all over its walls, but the real star is out in the kitchen

The Royal Oak, Paley Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, tel: 01628 620 541

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Farrago, By Jim Godbolt

The editor of Ronnie Scott's in-house magazine recalls a vanished era of bad puns and trad dads

10 most irritating television characters

Run for the hills – Mr Blobby is making a comeback. But is he really the worst of a very bad bunch?

Inner-city regeneration plans 'being put on ice'

Plans to breathe life into Britain's inner-city areas through regeneration projects are under threat because of the credit crunch, the Government will be warned today.

The Diary: Poster pilfering

The marketing department at the Barbican has, it appears, become the victim of its own success. Its latest poster campaign on the London Underground has been such a hit with passing commuters that the striking black-and-white portraits of this season's performers have been going missing at a rapid rate.

Leading article: That's entertainment

To rattle off the showbiz names associated with the long career of Sir Bill Cotton is to recite a short history of television entertainment. The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise, Michael Parkinson, Bruce Forsyth: the television producer, who died this week, had a big hand in all of their careers.

The Week In Radio: Value the living, not the dead

In A Tale of Two Skulls (Radio 3, Sunday), an artist named Jane Wildgoose read out a quotation: "Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness, the tender mercies of its people, their loyalty to high ideals, and their regard for the laws of the land." Which suited her purposes nicely – the point of the programme was to find out where a pair of skulls she owns came from, and what she ought to do with them – but doesn't necessarily tell you anything useful. Some nations honour their dead in ways that strike other nations as blasphemous, or callous, or silly: leaving them out for vultures, burning them, eating them, wrapping them in bandages, drying them in catacombs, pickling them for medical students to practise on, burying them in wooden boxes – it isn't obvious that the dead themselves would prefer any one of these to the others, or that we should either.

Janet Street-Porter: If this is 'care', then I hope I'll never need it

I've said it before, and I'll say it again – if I show signs of dementia, don't bother putting me in a care home, just hand me a plastic bag and I'll dispose of myself without further ado.

Sport on TV: War and Peace: usual rules in the Broad Acres

There cannot have been many greater characters in British sport than Brian Clough. So much so that a mythology has engulfed his memory. There have now been at least seven biographies of the self-proclaimed "Ol' Big 'Ead", the latest, 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me' by Duncan Hamilton, winning the 2007 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.

Richard Drewett: Producer who launched 'Parkinson'

Richard Drewett made his mark as the original producer of Michael Parkinson's Saturday-night BBC chat-show, starting in 1971, before switching to the ITV company LWT and providing the commercial channel's first real challenge at weekends to the corporation's dominance in the ratings.

Barnsley 0 Cardiff City 1: Hometown hero Ledley books Cardiff a return to Wembley

It was an old-fashioned FA Cup fairytale for Cardiff City and their matchwinner Joe Ledley yesterday, an improbable story of heroism as timeless as the Cup itself. Yet as Cardiff City improbably won a place in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth next month the mind could only wander back to the game's most remarkable moment.

Jonathan Davies: Hard-nosed Gatland must put frighteners on

It is hardly a suitable Christmas message, but the word that ought to be preached to the ranks of all those who underachieved during 2007 is fear. Particularly where there is a lack of genuine competition for places too many players don't know what it is like to be fearful of their jobs and operate in a comfort zone that is taking the edge off their game.

The Weekend's TV: I lost all faith in this from the very start

Make Me A Muslim, Channel 4; Dawn French's More Boys Who Can Do: Comedy, BBC1; Parkinson: The Final Conversation, ITV1

Sri Lanka 521-5 dec & 5-1 Sussex 262: 'Slinger' Malinga put on Sri Lanka stand-by

The Sri Lankans headed for Edgbaston yesterday reasonably happy with preparations for the second Test against England which starts on Thursday.

Arts and Entertainment
tv'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there