Sport Gary Ballance is confident he can deal with Mitchell Johnson ahead of his return to the Australia squad for the second One-Day International with England

Ballance is looking to fight fire with fire after hitting half-centuries in his last two innings

Tough act to follow: James Corden's role in One Man, Two Guvnors, will be reprised by
Rufus Hound

Another Man, Two Guvnors - but is James Corden an impossible act to follow?

The comedian Rufus Hound will take on the role which made James Corden a Broadway star when he leads the cast of the hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors during its UK tour later this year.

LeRoy Neiman: Artist whose brash style was perfect for the sports subjects he loved to paint

LeRoy Neiman was an artist whose paintings are immediately recognisable for their dynamic subjects and brash primary colours, often executed in household enamel paint.

The Sketch: Funny guy, but Vaclav has little to laugh about

On a suitably cold and dismal day, the President of a dissident republic addressed his underground supporters in inner London about the optimal size of a monetary union.

Participants during a competition for the 2012 best moustache of Brussels

Beautiful moustaches: Winners by a whisker

Men with the finest and most flamboyant whiskers in Belgium turned out for the election of the most beautiful moustache in Brussels during a competition organised by the Order of the Brussels Moustache yesterday.

Jane Merrick: That's not wallowing. It's emotion, the Scouse way

Calm down, calm down! If you're a Scouser like me you would have heard that phrase about every 10 days for the past 20 years, usually coupled with the flat-palmed hand gestures and "'ey, 'ey". Thank you, Harry Enfield, for cementing a stereotype of Liverpudlians that has been harder to shift than a van full of shell suits.

Moustaches: There's no bushiness like movie bushiness

From Chaplin to Selleck, film stars have been festooned with fuzz. Not now. Daniel Bettridge mourns the demise of the mo

As an ambassador for Haiti, Penn has weighed into the dispute over the Falkland Islands

Sean Penn: Rebel with a cause

He's the Hollywood star turned activist who's riled people throughout his career. And now the British are in his sights

Five-minute memoir: Noo Sara-Wiwa recalls a post-Apartheid motorcycle ride

Spring time in the still fledgling New South Africa. I was in a white Mercedes, feeling cool though looking a bit of a fool in my borrowed Harley-Davidson jacket, vest and Harley bandana. I was accompanying Paul and Manny, two members of the Soweto-based Eagles, the country's only black biker gang at the time. I had contacted the Eagles after reading about them in the local newspaper, and asked if I could join them one weekend. We were en route to a biker rally in a town called Villiers, a small Afrikaner bastion of the Free State province.

Nude Woman in a Red Armchair, by Picasso

Heads Up: Picasso & Modern British Art

How the master of Modernism taught the Brits a lesson

He says: 'I quite enjoy the lines on my forehead because they show my life.'

Michael Fassbender: Wanted man

Romantic hero, sex addict, troubled intellectual, IRA hunger striker. He can play the lot, and more. And an astonishing run of performances has taken him from obscurity to the brink of the Oscars

Hello Giggles: the relentlessly upbeat Zooey Deschanel as Jess (with Jake Johnson, who plays Nick) in her upcoming
sitcom 'New Girl'

'I do try really hard to be normal'

Zooey Deschanel is playing to type as a girly kook in her lauded new sitcom. It might not be to everyone's taste, but it's just the way she is, she tells Sarah Hughes

Zooey Deschanel: 'I do try really hard to be normal'

Zooey Deschanel is playing to type as a girly kook in her lauded new sitcom. It may not be to everyone's taste, but it's just the way she is

Rupert and Ken Russell

My father Ken Russell, the 'domestic' director

Ken Russell, who died last month, enjoyed rebellion. His son Rupert Russell recalls giving him a taste of his own medicine

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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
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'