Arts and Entertainment

A feast for the eyes

Album: The Soundcarriers, Harmonium, (Melodic)

It doesn't sound like a recipe for musical magic: a bunch of jobbing musicians from Nottingham enlist the help of a local girl singer with a plan to re-create David Axelrod's psyched-out jazzy grooves.

Amol Rajan: My smoothie recipe is much better than Nigella's

I can't believe there are so many television critics who still don't get Nigella, who still think it's a highly serious matter watching her whisk her frittata into shape.

Martin Hickman: Who's behind the Fat Panel?

You may have noticed a story in other papers today about high saturated fat in recipes by the likes of Rick Stein, Nigella Lawson and other chefs.

Rugby's dressing room pranks

Even before players go into battle for 80 minutes, they have to train together, travel to away games together and live together on tour. In short, professional players spend a lot of time together.

The See-Saw, By Julia Hobsbawm

This collection of "100 Ideas for Work-Life Balance" by the PR guru Julia Hobsbawm makes some good points about women and guilt, but sadly her value-tosh balance is too skewed to find room here to mention them.

The Insider: Get yourself a juicy deal on a smoothie maker

Smoothies are a great invention. They're a tasty and easy way to get some fruit into your diet and, since the industry has taken off over the past few years, there's an endless choice of concoctions. But they can be an expensive habit. A 250ml bottle can set you back nearly £2 – making them a prime candidate to be dropped from your shopping list in the current tough economic climate.

Close-up: Brian Duffy

Who needs a polyphonic synthesiser when you've got a Speak and Spell?

The Ten Best Autumn Cookbooks

Stave off the Autumn blues with a meal from one of these seasonal cookbooks.

Peers sound warning over 42-day detention

Moves to hold terrorist suspects for up to 42 days without charge could lead to the collapse of trials and put judges and MPs at loggerheads, an all-party group of peers warns today.

The Mist (15)

The Mist is one of the most downbeat, serious-minded dramas ever to feature gigantic tentacled aliens from another dimension. Adapted from a novella by Stephen King, it's set almost entirely in a rural New England supermarket. An unfeasibly buff artist, Thomas Jane, is stocking up with his son there one morning, when the supermarket is enveloped in a white fog, and we soon see that cheaply computer-generated beasties are lurking within it. Jane and the other shoppers lock the doors.

Market Report: Make-or-break time for Carphone Warehouse

You don't have to be a business school guru to tell that the next six months are going to be crucial for Carphone Warehouse, 2p worse at 308.25p. Free broadband and the acquisition of AOL UK have created a make-or-break situation for the group, probably more crucial to its future than its first foray outside retail, the 2003 launch of TalkTalk.

The Ten Best: Party cookbooks

PopCo, by Scarlett Thomas

A feisty, zeitgeisty rage against the machine
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
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
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
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