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

Robin Scott-Elliot: Aussies vie with Merson in 'tache dash for growth

View From The Sofa: Soccer Saturday/Rugby Union, Sky Sports/BBC2

Monsters Of Folk, Coal Exchange, Cardiff

Europe hails a supergroup

The Humbling, By Philip Roth

An actor, famous and fêted, at the peak of his career, steps on stage one night. Starting to speak, he finds that he simply can't do it any longer. He feels fake, inauthentic, unprepared, and, though he goes through the motions, it becomes apparent that his audience has perceived a change in him, too, and not one for the better. His gift, whatever it was, has gone. How does a life continue when the talent it rested on is abruptly removed?

Gamers, get
growing

Gentlemen, here’s your chance to be immortalised in videogame form while helping charity.

Comedians, Lyric Hammersmith, London

Why the old ones are still the best

A record universally acknowledged ...

A slice of Britain: Fans of Jane Austen converging on Bath to revel in the world of 'Emma' and 'Persuasion' are joined by hundreds in full Regency costume who have their eyes on quite a different title – Guinness World Records

Richard Herring: Hitler Moustache, Underbelly, Edinburgh

A well-deserved salute

Twelfth Night, Barbican Theatre, London

A classic, lost in translation

Party Of The Week: Everyone's centre stage here

The stars of theatreland were out in force this week for the opening of the new theatre and performance galleries at London's V&A. Having been dusted down and moved from the rather dingier Theatre Museum in Covent Garden into an airy suite of rooms, the assorted props, costumes, playbills and trashed guitars looked resplendent in their new home.

Richard Ingrams's Week: Don’t bring God into it – we have enough worries

“Now stop worrying” is the message of the crusading atheists who have paid to have the rather half-hearted slogan “There’s probably no God” plastered all over a lot of our buses.

Days Like These: 'I identified the sound of Matthew's head banging against the steering wheel'

The phone was ringing when we arrived at the Dorset cottage that frosty, Friday night. And from its insistent, furious tone I knew who it was. Matthew didn't speak immediately but I could identify the sound of his head banging rhythmically in frustration against the steering wheel. He was clearly stuck in traffic in London, where he was remaining for the weekend.

Paperbacks: Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy

An introduction to this edition of Hardy's masterpiece by David Snodin, the producer of the new BBC adaptation, both attests to the novel's filmic qualities and hopes, nobly, that the TV series will encourage more readers to pick up the book.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick