The News Matrix: Monday 21 January 2013

BBC's Marr 'on the mend' after stroke

DVD & Blu-ray review: The Sweeney (15)

Forget the excellent John Thaw series. In Nick Love's joyless take on Flying Squad hard-nuts Ray Winstone and Plan B play Regan and Carter, boozing, corrupt coppers who are being investigated by internal affairs (Steven Mackintosh) for their diabolical tactics: "There's even talk of baseball bats".

IoS album review: Broadcast, Berberian Sound Studio (Warp Records)

This soundtrack to Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio is the last record by Broadcast, purveyors of icy-sharp electronica: singer Trish Keenan died unexpectedly in 2011.

The pleasure Debbie Wiseman takes in her work shines forth

IoS radio review: Scoring Father Brown, Radio 4, Tuesday
Student Stories, Radio 4, Friday

Clues and cues: to hit a happy note, you find it first

Last Night's Viewing: Spies of Warsaw, BBC4,
World's Most Dangerous Roads, BBC2

It's surprising sometimes what you can do with stock materials. Take Spies of Warsaw, for example, an adaptation of Alan Furst's novels, set in Central Europe just before the Second World War.

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, BAC, London

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magical realist fable proves to be the perfect vehicle for this bewitching collaboration between Islington's Little Angel Theatre and Cornwall's Kneehigh company.

100% Happy listening; Lee Child makes film cameo in Jack Reacher

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Tom Daley will be mentor to celebrities learning to dive for a new TV series, Splash!

Tom Daley: When an Olympic hero's career takes a dive

Dear little Tom Daley is excited about his new role, as mentor to celebrities learning to dive for a new TV series, Splash! (which launches on Saturday). Us? Not so much.

Album: Various artists, Christmas Rules (Decca)

What event could possibly have gathered together artists as diverse as Andrew Bird, Rufus Wainwright, Paul McCartney and The Civil Wars?

Kaiser Chiefs

Kaiser Chiefs to headline an Eden Session

Kaiser Chiefs have been confirmed to headline an Eden Session in Cornwall on Saturday 29 June 2013.

Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, Lyttelton, National Theatre, London

“I have never found it easy to belong. So much repels,” declares Alan Bennett (uncannily well- played by Alex Jennings) towards the close of the first in this delectable double-bill of short autobiographical pieces. “Hymns help. They blur.”

Andy McSmith: Forget the Stones, rock up to a concerto

Classical music is an acquired taste. I have not quite recovered from the extraordinary experience of hearing a live performance of a 100-year-old concerto at the Royal Festival Hall last week, but I know that the notion that classical music can be as exhilarating in its own way as a Rolling Stones revival sounds off-beam to most of the population.

The Snowman and the Snowdog: How do you rival The Snowman and, more terrifyingly, 'Walking in the Air'?

Thirty years since it first aired, Raymond Briggs’ ‘The Snowman’ has become a Christmas staple. So how do you go about writing its long-awaited sequel? What do you do if you are the man tasked with penning the song that will have to rival 'Walking in the Air'?

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
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'