Arts and Entertainment

Despite my obsession with Game of Thrones and Lucy Worsley’s The First Georgians right now, I am still televisually smitten with MTV’s Catfish. The show that exposes online love fraudsters. The throwaway youth TV show that one’s mind just cannot throw away. Instead, one sits post- episode genuinely saddened that our human need to love and be loved is so destructive. Or that  the earth’s supply of gullible optimists may well be infinite.

Grace Dent on TV: The Island with Bear Grylls was full of plotless bumbling and twig friction

Come off It, Bear! you can’t moan about insects with designs on your urethra

Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark

The sexually motivated killing of a woman in the opening of episode two was simply 'a bit much', but this is still the some of the finest television ever made

Grace Dent on TV: The Crimson Field, BBC1

A missing fruit cake is a good enough cliffhanger for me

Grace Dent on TV: Louis Theroux’s LA stories, BBC2

Even before tragedy, Theroux doesn’t flinch. That’s just what he does

Grace Dent on TV: The Missing, Channel 4

When people go missing, those who are left behind are also lost

Grace Dent on TV: Looking & Girls, Sky Atlantic

Give me Looking & Girls’ likeable gays over Lena’s toxic girls any day

Philip Pullman, author

Page 3 Profile: Philip Pullman, author

Say a little prayer for me?

Bez aka Bez of The Happy Monday

Page 3 Profile: Bez, musician

Move over Russell Brand…

Grace Dent on TV: EDL Girls: Don’t Call Me Racist BBC 3

Gail said she was no racist, just ‘offended by people who look like bin-bags’ 

Darcey Bussell, dancer

Page 3 Profile: Darcey Bussell, dancer

Care to dance?

Andre 3000 performing back in 2004

Page 3 Profile: André 3000, musician turned actor

Jimi’s back?

Grace Dent on TV: True Detective, Sky Atlantic

It’s the detectives who are the conundrum in this murder mystery

Misao Okawa, the world's oldest Japanese woman eats her birthday cake

Page 3 Profile: Misao Okawa, World’s oldest person

She looks like she’s enjoying her cake.

Page 3 Profile: Molly Smitten-Downes, musician

A musician? What does she play?

Will Dean on TV: Jonathan Creek, BBC1

It may seem Pie in the sky, but I’d rather be up the creek than in Baker street

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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
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
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'