Arts and Entertainment What a racket: Conor Woodman in 'Scam City'

It's not just that the National Geographic documentary series Scam City is a pointless programme, it's that it's also a uniquely irritating one. Whereas most consumer watchdogs investigate scams at the instigation of aggrieved parties, in Scam City presenter Conor Woodman, travels the world looking for trouble and – what's more pitiful – often fails to find it.

Chinese scientists 'increasingly confident' about invisibility cloak after making a cat disappear

The new technology was unveiled in June as Chinese scientist continue to explore the wider possibilities of invisibility

Pucker up: ‘Beautiful Stranger’ collection, NARS Guy Bourdin

Style File: New scents and make-up for Christmas

Bored with buying the same old scent? Opt instead for  glamorous packaging and luxurious formulations for  lovers of lotions and potions, says Kate Rose Morris

Nelson Mandela with Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu salutes ‘magician’ Nelson Mandela who healed the nation

South Africa’s Anglican leader fondly remembers his good friend

Mandela on his release from prison in February 1990

Nelson Mandela life story: the long walk, the spirit, the legacy, the speeches, the friend and the tributes - read our unparalleled coverage

Contributions from Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Walter Sisulu, Cyril Ramaphosa, and his official biographer Anthony Sampson

Commemorative special - an interactive e-book celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela

Contributions from Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the late Walter Sisulu, Cyril Ramaphosa, and his official biographer Anthony Sampson

A scene from the Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House

The Nutcracker, The Royal Opera House: Review

ROH, London

All in the mind games: Derren Brown

Derren Brown still steals the TV magic show

Inside Television

Album review: Prefab Sprout, Crimson/Red (Icebreaker)

His first set of all-new material in 13 years finds Paddy McAloon working alone for the first time, writing and playing everything himself. Which may account for the slightly solipsistic tone, with many songs being about songwriters and, in "Devil Came a Calling", the Faustian pact of success which may have singed his sensibilities. "The Best Jewel Thief in the World" and "The Old Magician" portray composition as a stealthy process, while "The Songs of Danny Galway" and "Mysterious" offer loquacious homage to Jimmy Webb and Bob Dylan. But underpinning McAloon's exacting lyrics is music which suffers from similar deliberation and a pastel palette: even when scuttling nimbly, it's tasteful but a touch bloodless.

Pixies perform in New York

Music review: Pixies, iTunes Festival

The Pixies without bassist Kim Deal should feel like a jam sandwich cream without the sugar-coated jam. The best bit is surely missing and with it the warmth and the evocative, breathy vocals the charismatic Deal provides.

Sofie Grabol as Sarah Lund

Battle of the detectives: Sherlock Holmes v The Killing's Sarah Lund at National Television Awards 2014

Television’s top detectives are to go head to head for the title of “best detective” at next year’s National Television Awards.

Tweet and greet: the Twitter user who actually met his followers

Would you want to go out for a drink with every one of your Twitter followers? Probably not. But that’s exactly what one man from Glasgow has just done.

On the right wavelength: Richard Bacon

The week in radio: Richard Bacon's uplifting broadcast from the cancer ward

"Hear the inspiring story of the man with terminal cancer who achieved his goal as a magician and comedian," went the blurb for Richard Bacon's show on BBC Radio 5 Live. Oh God, I thought. Must we? You see, I had imagined, in a cynical moment, a kind of queasy Bucket List-style scenario in which a pale-faced man in surgical gowns and smothered in tubing is wheeled on to a stage in order to pull a rabbit out of a hat for the last time as the audience howl in tear-stained approval, possibly with choirs of angels looking on.

Maldives vote-rigging row after 'black magic coconut' is found near polling booth

The coconut was placed near a polling booth in an alleged bid to disrupt the upcoming elections

Society Rock suffered concussion after a fall on Sunday

Fanshawe’s Rock hits hard place and misses Haydock

Injured sprinter ruled out of rematch with Lethal Force, as Fugue is handed Irish option

My unsuccessful year of online dating

Plenty of fish? Not over 30. They're all tiddlers, shrimp, and squid

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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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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
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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