Arts and Entertainment Katherine Jenkins performs at Epsom in June 2012

Cultural Life: The singer on her favourite music, film, tv and theatre picks

Chris Elliott: 'An engineer would ask, what are mps expenses for – and what would a solution look like?'

Chief executive officer of the Fitness Industry Association

Page Turner: In memory of Michael, the Puck of poetry

It's five whole years since the poet Michael Donaghy died, and the Purcell Room at the South Bank celebrated him on St Pat's with a concert of Irish music (Mike was as accomplished a musician as he was a poet) and a debate on his work. This all tied in with publication of his Collected Poems and The Shape of the Dance, a compilation of his critical prose (both Picador £12.99). The event began with a clip of the ebullient poet being interviewed. The chair, The Independent's Christina Patterson, observed that it didn't really give a flavour of Donaghy's personal presence, his sparkling erudition, enthusiasm and charisma. But it poignantly resurrected him, even in shadow form. "Hi Mike," you wanted to say, "where've you been?"

Is Harry Blain Britart's most powerful man?

Once upon time there was a great institution, tucked in just behind London's Royal Academy, called The Museum of Mankind. For 30 years it showed off the British Museum's extensive collective of ethnographical objects. About 10 years ago it closed its doors, and the building's been looking pretty woebegone ever since then, used for just a few days once a year to house the Zoo Art Fair. Otherwise, it has been empty and in serious need of refurbishment. Now a man called Harry Blain has brought it to life by leasing it from the Royal Academy and turning it into a private gallery. Except that it doesn't look and feel like a private gallery. It has all the panache of a museum space.

Lives Remembered: Richard Sell

Richard Sell, who died on 8 November 2008, had an advantage over me, his strict contemporary, in that he received a measure of art training before his enlistment in the army in 1942. He was therefore equipped to chart his way with detachment through his time in the Royal Indian Army Service Corps with a sketchbook and watercolours, the results of which were seen in a hastily arranged retrospective exhibition in Ely after he had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Great Works: Icon of the Heavenly Ladder of St John Klimakos

Late 12th century, anonymous, Holy Monastery of St Catherine, Sinai

Tom Sutcliffe: This holy child needs a crib sheet

The Week In Culture

Byzantium 330-1453, Royal Academy, London

The Royal Academy is showing a stunning array of Byzantine icons - but do they enlighten, or merely dazzle?

Armstrong to quit Robin Hood

Jonas Armstrong, the actor who plays Robin Hood in the BBC remake of the tale, is to quit the show at the end of the third series.

Banned TS Eliot portrait goes on show

A portrait of the poet T S Eliot rejected by the Royal Academy in 1938 because it featured phallic references will be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery in a new exhibition.

Preview: Embodied Energy, various venues, London

The house that these dancers built

Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London

Who but a lunatic would agree to curate the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, a show that this year includes no fewer than 1,129 works of painting, sculpture and much else? How does anybody make sense of it? Fortunately, there are serving academicians who are happy to oblige.

Album: Tom Richards Orchestra, Smoke and Mirrors (Candid)

The big bands might not be coming back but the form won’t go away. This incredibly assured debut from composer/arranger/saxophonist Richards and a 20-piece aggregation of young, often Royal Academy-trained players with Gwilym Simcock on piano, adopts a Maria Schneider or Vince Mendoza method with more sighs and whispers than rasps and growls. It’s at its best on the opening track "Dropping Pennies", with a show-stopping duo for Simcock and vibes-man Jim Hart heard between ticking rhythms and subtle reeds and brass harmonies. This is truly thrilling stuff.

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
News
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
Voices
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...
News
i100
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
Career Services

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
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