Life and Style

Canadian popstar beat both Beyonce and Kate Middleton to take the top spot in the UK, moving up from fifth place in 2012

Simon Pegg: 'I don't like the idea of visibility'

I still get star-struck on set It's not even being nerdy; I'm just being honest. I was involved in Paramount's 100th anniversary photograph and it was the most incredible day; everyone from Mickey Rooney to Justin Bieber and all in between were there – Nicholson, De Niro, Scorsese, Spielberg – and I was sat with them having pictures taken. And I was like, "I'm from Gloucester, so what does this mean?" The truth is, it means nothing, but it was extremely exciting.

DVD: Community: Second Season (15)

Modern Family may bag the Emmys and kudos, but this deranged US comedy, with Chevy Chase (yes, Fletch), is funnier.

Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg: 'Hollywood is like being in a waxworks come to life'

Simon Pegg tells James Mottram about the tribulations of adapting to life as the toast of Los Angeles

The inventions that are stranger than science fiction

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have unveiled a device that delivers needle-free injections. Instead of a painful jab, it uses a jet to administer medicine doses from a gun-shaped gadget. And, as other commentators have pointed out, it looks a lot like the machine Bones McCoy used for a similar task in Star Trek. However, MIT's is far from the first technological advance predicted by the sci-fi serial.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Gina Ford hasn't so much as a parking ticket to her name'

Who knew that Benjamin Spock, the first and perhaps greatest of the child-rearing gurus, won a gold medal for rowing at the Paris Olympics of 1924?

Screentalk: Comic couple earn their stripes

Two assistants have sold an action comedy they wrote between arranging lunch bookings for their bosses.

We now have the technology to create a real-life version of Star Trek's tricorder scanner, says Paul Saffo

Paul Saffo: 'We have willingly made ourselves like tagged bears'

Renowned futurologist Paul Saffo discusses privacy, robots and using 3D printers to create genetically modified meat

Jonny Lee Miller to play Sherlock Holmes in US series

The two British stars won a joint Best Actor prize after sharing the lead in the National Theatre’s Frankenstein.

Jonny Lee Miller to play Sherlock Holmes in US series

The two British stars won a joint Best Actor prize after sharing the lead in the National Theatre’s Frankenstein.

Matt Bomer, star of US TV show 'White Collar'

Proud and out in Beverly Hills

Matt Bomer not be a household name but news of his coming out at the weekend has been reported all over the world. Why? Because he is an actor, and many feel that if they are honest about their sexuality the number of roles available to them will be limited.

From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages, By Michael Adams

For a man who has written a Buffy the Vampire Slayer lexicon, Michael Adams puts together a pretty academic volume. He and his fellow-contributors range from the Bible to Esperanto to alien-speak in computer games. JRR Tolkien invented more languages than most polyglots can speak, crafting several types of Elvish, not to mention dwarf-talk and Mordor-mumble. To him, inventing a language, and the history of the folk who would have spoken it, was an art form.

Zoe Saldana - The kick-ass geek who found fame as an alien

Despite working with some of Hollywood's top directors, Zoe Saldana had never quite jumped into the big league. That changed after Avatar, she tells James Mottram

Wallace and Gromit fail to lift Haynes

A top-selling guide to the inventions of Wallace and Gromit failed to stop motor manual maker Haynes Publishing from posting a fall in annual sales.

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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
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
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