Arts and Entertainment Top gear: Peter Kay will star in new sitcom 'Car Share'

Peter Kay's latest project, Car Share, due to be broadcast in the spring, will make BBC history. It's the first television comedy that the corporation has commissioned to be shown first on the internet – on their streaming service, iPlayer – before being transmitted later on terrestrial TV.

Peter Kay: The Tour That Doesn’t Tour Tour, 02, London

Mum's happy, not sure about the rest of us

Westwood redesigns Brits for a new era

The Brit Awards – those bronze, helmeted female statuettes that have served as the Oscars of the British music industry for more than three decades – are to be given a makeover by the high priestess of punk, Vivienne Westwood.

New JLS single to benefit Children In Need

Boyband JLS are releasing this year's official Children In Need single.

An IoS guide to A-road Britain (Part 2)

Welcome to part two of our series on some of the best and most scenic A-roads. Last week's instalment certainly got some of you reacting, and in such an interesting way that we would be falling down on the job if we did not pass some of your comments on.

Funny money: Britain's jokers are cashing in

Comedians – not rock stars – are selling out some of the biggest venues in the country. Andrew Johnson reports on a joke boom

Comedy Lab, Channel 4

Seven shows in the Comedy Lab strand have mixed appeal, but there are enough laughs to make it all worthwhile

Philip Hensher: A class act always appeals

The Week In Culture

Pandora: Look away now! It's Brown, naked and angry

Batten down the hatches! After spin doctor Lance Price's account of Gordon Brown's agitated behaviour at No 10 which was serialised in The Independent, the Prime Minister has been nervously awaiting Andrew Rawnsley's book, The End of the Party, which documents the slow decline of New Labour since 2001.

Amanda Ross's TV Book Club

The creator of Richard and Judy's Book Club is on a mission to spread the printed word with her new TV show. John Walsh meets publishing's first lady of letters

Hit makes £170,000 for Children In Need

Peter Kay's chart-topping animated hit has raised at least £170,000 for BBC Children In Need, it was announced today.

What do Swayze, Motty and Zippy have in common?

They're all here, in the first instalment of our three-part round-up of the year's best books, from celebrity memoirs to humour, sporting tomes to children's titles – as well as those miscellaneous stocking-fillers

I'm a celebrity memoir...get me out of here!

Slump in sales suggests ghost-written confessionals are past their sell-by-date

Arifa Akbar: Big money is going to the biggest names

The publishing trade has always drawn strength from the smug refrain that "books are recession proof". Until now.

For the record: 15/06/2009

"I'm beavering away feverishly on my report; that's my only preoccupation" Lord Carter prepares to step down as Communications Minister after issuing his 'Digital Britain' report tomorrow.

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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
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