Arts and Entertainment Ellie Goulding has refused to sing at the Sochi Winter Olympics due to Russia's anti-gay laws

The singer turned down a request to sing at the Sochi opening ceremony

Dick Whittington and His Cat, Lyric Hammersmith, London

There is nothing like a really good pantomime dame to satisfy an audience's deep desire to be dominated. This is proved again, to deliriously enjoyable effect, in Dick Whittington and His Cat at the Lyric Hammersmith. It's hard to believe that Shaun Prendergast is making his first foray into stage-damehood with this magnificent performance as Sarah the Cook. Modelling a succession of outrageous outfits and dominating the proceedings with his raucous gravel-voice and his wickedly glinting, manic personality, he comes across as the gaudy love-child of Dame Edna and Timmy Mallet.

Stephen Fry: People can make a difference and save lives

It would be an injustice if anyone thought Elton's foundation was a rock star vanity project

David Randall: No business like this snow business

Here is the newspaper weather forecast...

Stephen Fry compares interviews with being raped

Stephen Fry has compared agreeing to being interviewed by journalists to consenting to "being mugged, raped or burgled" after a row broke out over remarks he made to a magazine.

The science of women and sex: Is Stephen Fry right after all?

Evolutionary theory says yes – but that's not the whole story.

Stephen Fry Live, Royal Albert Hall, London

Our national polymath lacks a skill after all. He can't do stand-up

Terence Blacker: Stephen Fry and the art of inauthenticity

Clearly, the creation of a public version of the self is more than mere marketing; it is a method of survival

Publishing first for Stephen Fry with new memoir launch

Stephen Fry's latest memoir has been published simultaneously in hardback, as an eBook and an iPhone app.

Philip Hensher: There's more to marriage than a contract between a man and a woman

Same-sex marriage in California appears to have come about not through moral principle but from a ruling on the right of appeal

Farewell to the king of Soho's dandies to the sound of T Rex

Clad in his trademark top hat, Sebastian Horsley, from a giant black and white photograph, reclined on the mantelpiece and glowered at the hundreds who had gathered for his funeral.

Media Diary: Lembit-watchers had advance warning of Laws's downfall

Poignant and depressing though David Laws' resignation on Saturday night certainly was, at least it was less a shock than it might have been. The pre-emptive warning came on Saturday afternoon when a former colleague waded into the debate with a contribution headlined: "Opik: No question of Laws resigning". Ah well – we Lembit-watchers thought on seeing this – that's that for the ascetic member for Yeovil. It was Lembit who insisted Charles Kennedy would survive until the moment he resigned; Lembit who then became Mark Oaten's campaign manager (quite an accolade given that he was the only Lib Dem MP to back him); and Lembit, the seer of seers, who then switched allegiance to Simon Hughes. The sadness is that had Lembit only clung on his Montgomeryshire seat on 6 May he'd have been in line to replace Danny Alexander as Scottish Secretary ... and might from there have replicated the Alexander book by swiftly ascending to Cheek Secretary to the Treasury. But now what for the asteroid paranoiac? Lembit, it seems, has been hired by a gambling syndicate to go through the cards in difficult handicaps. His job, as you may have guessed, will be to tip all but one of the field.

Billy Budd, Festival Opera, Glyndebourne<br/>The Lion's Face, Theatre Royal, Brighton<br/>Opera Italia/Stephen Fry on Wagner, BBC4

Michael Grandage's handsome production of Britten's brutal classic is as good as opera can get

Last Night's TV - Spartacus, Bravo; Stephen Fry on Wagner, BBC4

A gush of blood from their heads

A who&rsquo;s who of celebrity political endorsements

Political parties love to adopt celebrities. And celebrities love to be adopted. In the run-up to the current general election there has been a possibly unprecedented display of high profile political wrangling taking place among people who are not politicians, played out on social networking sites, TV and newspapers.

Leading article: In praise of the master

News reaches us from the afterlife where a famous composer is making a documentary on one of his heroes: "My name is Richard Wagner and I have a confession to make: I have a passion for the work of the British actor, comedian, novelist, and television quiz show host Stephen Fry.

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John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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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'