Arts and Entertainment Direction and design by Mark Holthusen, words and music by Martyn Jacques, performed by the Tiger Lillies and Laura Caldow, commissioned by Opera North Projects.

Performed by The Tiger Lillies and Laura Caldow

What the butler saw? Downton's Mr Carson is to cycle 1,000 miles

Mr Carson! Downton Abbey butler Jim Carter joins 1,000 mile bicycle tour

Downton Abbey star Jim Carter has taken part in a 1,000 mile cycle tour as part of a bid to recreate the spirit of the Olympics.

Museum treasures: Vast collection of rare and precious items revealed

Stashed away underground beneath a popular museum lies a vast collection of rare and precious items.

Killen in 1962 recording his contribution to ‘The Iron Muse’, an album of industrial songs

Lou Killen: Singer in the vanguard of Britain’s folk revival

As Louisa, she chose to live her last years as a woman; her wife Margaret was a tower of strength

John Herdman

John Herdman open to approach from FA to replace Hope Powell

Powell had held the position from 15 years

Students sitting an A-level maths exam

Top private schools could scrap A-levels over Michael Gove’s exam reforms

Leading independent schools are considering ditching A-levels in favour of their international equivalent as a result of Education Secretary Michael Gove’s exam reforms.

Injury forces Newcastle and Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson to quit

The Scotland international scrum-half Rory Lawson has had to retire from rugby with immediate effect because of a chronic wrist injury.

Vodafone launches 4G network with sports and music offering in bid to secure customers

Vodafone will join O2 and EE offer extra-fast 4G mobile networks, Three has yet to announce when it will launch

O2 enters the 4G fray with £26 a month tariff set for August 29 launch

4G networks offer faster download speeds and better access to streaming music and video

Lord Howell: 'There are large, uninhabited and desolate areas, certainly in parts of the North East, where there is plenty of room for fracking'

Former energy minister Lord Howell (George Osborne’s father-in-law) says it’s fine to frack in ‘empty, desolate’ North-east

Tory grandee says there should be different rules for the South-east

Chalk Talk: A tour with Blondie? That's top-notch work experience for students

Some experiences that you notch up as a student you just can't beat.

Papiss Demba Cisse is allegedly spotted in a casino gambling

Papiss Demba Cisse allegedly seen gambling in Newcastle casino

Striker had been granted leave from the club's pre-season training camp after Wonga shirt-sponsor dispute but now faces club's wrath after he's reportedly spotted gambling

If Tories want to win, they need some friends in the North

Inside Westminster

A photo made available by Northumbria Police of internet troll Reece Elliott

British internet troll Reece Elliott jailed for two years after making threat to kill 200 US children on Facebook

Father-of-one admits one count of making a threat to kill and eight of sending grossly offensive messages

Vicky Pattison of UK reality TV series, Geordie Shore, who has been 'removed' from the show following her arrest

Geordie Shore filming suspended as stars Vicky Pattison and Holly Hagan arrested for assault

Geordie Shore depicts the city of Newcastle’s young people as airheaded hedonists with the sexual decorum of bonobo chimps, The Independent’s TV critic once remarked.

Martin Castrogiovanni pictured after his move to Toulon

Martin Castrogiovanni has 'lost all respect' for Leicester Tigers' director of rugby Richard Cockerill

Italian prop speaks out over move to Toulon and claims there are 'very few happy players' at the club

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas