Sport Richardt Strauss could return to the Ireland squad for the Six Nations following his rapid recovery from heart surgery

Schmidt coached Strauss at Leinster and believes that his return is a bonus for Ireland ahead of the Six Nations campaign

The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art: bi-weekly shows by the dancing horses

A moorish tapas crawl in Jerez

The Hedonist - what to see and where to be seen

Quiz: How much do you know about Christmas number ones?

Sam Bailey has been crowned the winner of X Factor 2013, but ever since Rage Against the Machine raged against the Cowell machine (in terms of Christmas sales), it’s not the guaranteed number one spot it was only a few years ago.

Anthony Rose: 'Forget ancient vicars and maiden aunts - Drakes Tabanco's sherries are fresh and innovative'

Missing the recent London Sherry Trail – aka tapas bar crawl – didn't prevent me from taking in the new sherry and cava bar phenomenon that's adding a dimension to the growing tapas scene. Following Bar Pepito, Rosita and Copa de Cava comes Drakes Tabanco in central London. Tim Luther and Nigel Howell's authentic tavern serves excellent Fernando de Castilla sherries from the cask and sells them to take away.

Grieg Laidlaw of Edinburgh celebrates after they defeat two-time Heineken Cup winners Munster

Edinburgh 29 Munster 23 match report: Late Tim Visser try stuns two-time European champions

Casey Laulala and Mike Sherry had cancelled out Matt Scott's opener for the Scots, who record their first Heineken Cup victory in 18 months

Corinthians keep Chichester memories alive

Gathering in Queen Anne’s Battery, Plymouth, home of the Royal Western Yacht Club of England, is a group of sailors far removed from the professional and grand prix circuit.

Major air and sea search operation under way after couple fall overboard off Australia

Despite couple being missing for more than 24 hours police say there is still hope the couple may be alive

Football and Manchester United are in Sir Alex Ferguson's veins

Time for Sir Alex Ferguson to consider new goals - for the sake of his wellbeing

Stepping down from a job is a challenge for mere mortals - the loss of status, structure and income can have a grave psychological impact. For a football god it will be much harder.

Clermont Auvergne 16 Munster 10 match report: Paul O'Connell's grit drives brave Munster close

Clermont survive late Irish fightback to reach Heineken Cup final as province fall just short

The juiciest cuts: Mark Hix cooks with succulent and nutty acorn-fed Iberico pork

In the UK, unfortunately, we don't have an annual pig slaughter, but in Spain the animal is a little more revered and many Andalucian families still carry out the traditional celebratory matanza. This involves killing the animals humanely and dissecting the various cuts and curing and brining them to ensure that the family has a supply of good-quality meat to last through the year.

Pork cheeks with sherry

Pork cheeks with sherry

Serves 4

Pakistan's minorities are under attack and the country's blasphemy laws must share the blame

The accusation alone of blasphemy has led to violence that has claimed countless lives. And the cases themselves are usually about something else

Harriet Walker: Whatever happened to New Year karma?

I never know what I'm going to do on New Year's Eve. That is, I can take a very vague guess: what I presume I will do is lie around for most of the day, then go somewhere, get drunk, wonder what all the fuss was about and go to sleep fully clothed round my friend's house.

Ten reasons why I hate Santa

1. He gave me an illuminated globe for Christmas when I was 11. Who gives an 11-year-old boy an illuminated globe? Why did I get that while Adam - who was a really nasty piece of work - got Reebok trainers and a Sega Mega Drive?

In the swing: Saracens’ Owen Farrell kicks the last-minute penalty

Farrell's boot a bonus for Sarries despite defeat

Munster 15 Saracens 9

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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
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Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
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How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
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The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor