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.

Review: The Childhood of Jesus, By JM Coetzee

The Booker-winner's unsettling new parable is set in Novilla,

Doctor Faustus, West Yorkshire Playhouse

Doctor Faustus, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

It takes a certain bravery to tinker with one of the great plays of the classical canon – let alone rip out two entire acts and replace them with brand spanking new material. True scholars have long debated how much of the established Doctor Faustus was written by Christopher Marlowe, not to mention the quality of what has been passed down through the years.

Rachel Weisz at the Oz The Great And Powerful premiere
Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo

Is Rio Ferdinand right about Gareth Bale?

The Tottenham winger has been compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. We take a look at the stats to find out if he's worthy

Los Angeles police have arrested 14 people for allegedly pulling off a stock manipulation scam that conned 20,000 investors out of more than $30m (£19m) by fraudulently pumping up the share prices with slick marketing campaigns, including one fronted by the actress Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson 'duped into fronting stock scam commercial'

Los Angeles police have arrested 14 people for allegedly pulling off a stock manipulation scam that conned 20,000 investors out of more than $30m (£19m) by fraudulently pumping up the share prices with slick marketing campaigns, including one fronted by the actress Pamela Anderson.

The Wanted beat One Direction

The Wanted beat One Direction to take best band award

The Wanted have beaten One Direction in the latest battle of the boybands.

Russell Howard

Russell Howard: I am king of the mingers!

The comedian came top in a poll of 'weird crushes'

The actor, Richard Dreyfus

Cultural Life: James Dreyfus, actor

Theatre

Hugh Grant said he would donate the damages to the Hacked Off campaign

Hugh Grant gets an apology from Murdoch

Duchess of York and  Christopher Eccleston also settle hacking cases in High Court

The media empire owned by Rupert Murdoch has been rocked by the scandal

New cases mean hacking scandal is far from over

Rupert Murdoch’s hopes of drawing a line under the financially toxic phone-hacking scandal will be derailed in the High Court on Friday when details of more hacking victims are announced.

Artist's impression of The Shed at the London National Theatre

National Theatre to 'take risk' with The Shed's 'more experimental repertoire'

Director Nicholas Hytner today unveiled this year's NT programme with hotly anticipated shows including a four hour Eugene O’Neill play and The Light Princess

Restaurant review: Bounce, 121 Holborn, London EC1

Normally when I'm shown to a far-flung table in a deserted corner by the loos, I'm tempted to complain to the management. But never have I felt more grateful for a Siberian placement than at Bounce, where our table was for table tennis. Thanks to our isolation, the wild flailings, reckless volleys and inter-generational conflict of our family ping-pong game went largely unnoticed by the early adopters who fill this super-cool new bar.

The naked truth: Nadav Kander, Bodies. 6 Women, 1 Man, Flowers Gallery, London

Nadav Kander was inspired by ideas of Elizabethan purity to create these stunning photographic portraits of six nude females and one male. 

This week's wackiest web stories: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the drunkest of them all?

Plus: A clean conscience, acquitted of "looking gay", hi-tech parenting, hipster rage, Gold(trigger)finger and is this the ultimate Batman?

The Arthur Conan Doyle Appreciation Society, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

“This is not like one of those Pirandello plays,” mutters Javier Marzan at the end of the first half, shortly after his fellow performers have stormed from the auditorium, “no-one is acting here.”

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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
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas