News

'Drop it like it's hot' rapper will feature in a television advert as part of the price comparison website's You’re So MoneySuperMarket campaign

US 'homemaker' Martha Stewart is banned from entering Britain

The American lifestyle guru Martha Stewart has joined the radical Islamic preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi and US rap star Snoop Dogg on the list of high-profile figures to be denied entry to the UK by the Home Office.

Cultural Life: Emmanuel Jal, musician

Books: I am reading Marley Legend: An Illustrated Life of Bob Marley by James Henke. It is about the early years when he was trying to make a band, and includes interviews with Marley's family. I am also reading Slave: My True Story, about the Sudanese girl Mende Nazer's lost childhood after she was sold into slavery, until she managed to escape in 2000. I have been reading a few books about child soldiers. I just finished writing about my own experience, so I didn't want my book to sound similar. Somebody gave me Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. It follows the story of a 10-year-old Irish boy and is written in a way that copies the way a boy would speak.

Album: Various artists, The Swamp Dogg Anthology (Kent)

Before Snoop Dogg, there was Swamp, just one of many aliases used by performer/writer/producer Jerry Williams Jr. This anthology stretches from 1968 to 78, but most of the best stuff comes from the earliest part of that period, when Swamp was recording at Muscle Shoals with Duane Allman and co. The bizarre goodies include Gene Pitney backed by "I Am the Walrus" strings; failed career fillips for Patti LaBelle and the Drifters, and one work of art: "On Your Way Home" by C & the Shells is a woman's story of adultery with sand-in-the-throat vocals and an arrangement for banjo and glockenspiel.

Tiger prawns

To be honest, this is a bit of a cheat from Claudia Roden. I first discovered her cooking 15 years ago and she is responsible for my gaining two stone in weight as I absolutely love her Middle Eastern recipes. This recipe (from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food) is one I have been cooking for years and I've added a light Indian side salad, which you can prepare either instead of or with rice, as it's a recipe I particularly enjoy at lunchtime. It's also brilliant for entertaining as there's virtually no preparation beyond shopping, and the cooking takes under five minutes.

China rejects Spain's 'genocide' claims

China has denounced a Spanish court's investigation into claims of genocide in Tibet as an interference in its internal affairs and dismissed the allegations as "sheer fabrication".

Ellis Cashmore: 'Beyoncé proves that racism is no longer an impediment'

From a lecture by the professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University, delivered at the Celebrity Culture conference at the University of Paisley

Bewitched (PG)<br></br>Me and You and Everyone We Know (15)

Samantha loses her magic touch

Wedding Crashers (15)

Lukewarm reception

Album: Xzibit

Weapons of Mass Destruction, EPIC

Album: Common

Electric Circus, MCA

Obituary: Roger Troutman

ZAPP WAS one of a myriad acts who took up the funk of James Brown and George Clinton and turned it into the sophisticated R&B which dominated US urban radio stations in the Eighties. Zapp's lead singer and instrumentalist Roger Troutman was found shot dead on Sunday, apparently by his older brother Larry, who subsequently committed suicide.

Arts & Books: Pop: It's fun, and it's even legal (almost)

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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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