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In my previous dispatch from the traumatic home-hunting frontline, where regiments of estate agents fire broadsides of scorn at our hilarious budget-to-square-footage aspirations, I detailed how one such know-it-all had been forced to tell us – just as we were about to enter – why the house was unsellable, due to the all-pervasive stench of chemicals from the dry cleaner down below. Needless to say, we weren't inordinately tempted.

<i>Game of Thrones</i>, distinguished by its spectacular visuals, is at its best when tongue in cheek

Game of Thrones, Sky Atlantic, Sunday
The Undateables, Channel 4, Tuesday
Marrying Prince Harry, Channel 4, Friday

The return of a cult fantasy show tempts even a sceptical viewer to mug up on myths and maps

And relax: Rebecca Newman and Alan Dolan at his retreat Nazaret in Lanzarote

Take a deep breath: Discover the power of oxygen at a transformational breathing retreat

Lanzarote airport. Sugar-hyped children. Suntans. A smattering of leopard print. One lone female on a plastic seat, weeping. Reader, she was me, after an intensive breathing retreat.

Justin Lee Collins leaves St Albans Magistrates Court

Justin Lee Collins to face trial over ex-girlfriend

Comedian Justin Lee Collins is to stand trial for allegedly harassing his former girlfriend.

The Trench: A versatile classic for wet weather, warmer winters, cold springs and everything else in between. Burberry's version has become the benchmark, with its 156-year heritage and sturdy gabardine, cut to flatter any shape. £850, Burberry London, burberry.com

The capsule wardrobe: Fashion changes, these endure

The capsule wardrobe may sound complex – but it's a shopping strategy that will see you through hard times and last for years to come, says Harriet Walker

Chic moustaches feature on May's Tatler magazine

Trending: The lady mo' has its moment

A beautiful woman wearing a moustache has a strange hold on the imagination. Witness timeless knockout Christy Turlington sporting an upper-lip decoration on the cover of May's Tatler magazine and look no further than your local high street for hordes of hipsters dressing up as dandies on a hen night.

Denise Lewis is an Olympics ambassador for the 2012 Games

My Secret Life: Denise lewis, 39, athlete

My parents were... I grew up with my mum. She was very, very organised, a bit of a disciplinarian. We were like a little team, more like big sister, little sister.

Beyond Ballets Russes 1 London Coliseum, London

 After a winter of limited repertory, English National Ballet burst into spring with two ambitious programmes. The Beyond Ballets Russes season starts with a new ballet, new designs and some bright performances. The new Firebird doesn’t take off, but Erina Takahashi is a blazing Chosen One in The Rite of Spring.

Coppélia, London Coliseum, London

Coppélia is a village comedy with a streak of fantasy, from quarrelling lovers to dancing mechanical dolls. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production has a light touch and a sunny atmosphere, from the bouncy corps dances to Nao Sakuma’s heroine.

Ready to Wear: Some people are natural fashion plates – but the rest of us are not

Victoria Beckham was once rarely seen without a baseball cap jammed on

When the Killing's Done, By TC Boyle

Conservation thriller with no end of rats

Figleaves underwear advert sparks complaints

A poster advert for a lingerie company featuring a woman in bra, knickers, stockings and stiletto shoes has prompted complaints it was "offensive" and unsuitable for display where it might be seen by children.

Independent Bath Literature Festival: The book has a future – but what will it look like?

Authors ask what happens next for publishing as figures reveal print sales are down 18 per cent

Phoebe Philo, the creative director of Céline

Philo shows Paris that the best designs come in small packages

Nothing short of perfect, says Susannah Frankel in Paris of the latest, understated collection from the creative director of Céline

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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
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?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Sport
Robin van Persie scores the third for Manchester United with a perfectly-guided header
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
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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