Sport on TV: David Lloyd's curiouser ramblings killed the duck, not the cat

There seems to be an acknowledgement that England's Test series in New Zealand isn't particularly interesting. In a double Ashes year this might be understandable. The highlights on Sky Sports are only an hour long instead of two, and in the live transmission David Lloyd is on a campaign to keep viewers awake: "What time is it now? Twenty past 11? Have some discipline. Make a cup of coffee!" He's as manic as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, but when he pops down the hole again to go Down Under next winter he won't need to keep reminding us to keep our eyes open for the Ashes.

The monarch will sign the new Commonwealth Charter in an event tomorrow which includes the core values - from human rights to the rule of law - that leaders have committed to upholding.

Queen set to sign new charter in 'watershed' backing of equal rights for women and gay people

The Queen is set to sign a historic charter promoting gay rights and gender equality in a move campaigners hailed as a “watershed” for Britain’s antiquated anti-gay legislation. 

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says it is already moving to curb the overcapacity threat for incinerators

UK incinerator plans? They're just rubbish

As garbage-burning plants proliferate, Britain could end up with too little waste to put in them

Sarah Brightman's new album Dreamchaser

To infinity and beyond: Sarah Brightman goes where no soprano has gone before

Classical singer Sarah Brightman will boldly go where no soprano has gone before when she becomes the first professional musician to record a song in space.

Dead Water, By Ann Cleeves. Macmillan, £16.99

Crime fiction has a demanding convention. If the serial killer arrived recently on our gory shelves, the serial detective has been around for so long that readers expect it, and look forward to the regular appearance of their favourite sleuth. This lands the writer in a dilemma: how to maintain a character while bringing a book reasonably up-to-date? Ann Cleeves presents another adventure for her somewhat exotic Shetland detective, Inspector Jimmy Perez, but has taken a bold step with a dramatic change in his life.

The Burbo Bank off shore wind farm in Liverpool bay. More than half the public believe the UK should commit to most of its electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030

UK surge in wind turbines

Last year the number of wind farms approved by local councils went up for the first time in five years

Government attempts to 'reclaim' the green agenda by ploughing £1 billion into effort to cut Britain's overseas gas reliance

Ministers will divert money currently earmarked to build a new gas fired power station into projects to cut electricity demand

It’s time to offset the UN’s carbon footprint

The UN created the world’s most effective offset mechanism but astonishingly fails to use it for its own carbon emissions. This has to change

A load of old rubbish? Council to remove bins because they collect the wrong type of litter

The affluent London borough of Kensington and Chelsea is removing litter bins claiming they attract the wrong kind of rubbish

Mark Leftly: Stop dithering on this nuclear 'strike price' deal

Outlook Sticking with government and industry, I hear that the long-awaited "strike price" for nuclear power generation has basically been agreed. This is the guaranteed minimum that EDF would get for power produced at a proposed new plant at Hinkley Point, the first of the coming wave of nuclear new-build.

The Insider: How to make your fairy lights fantastic

You may think the time of the year for fairy lights has passed – but I think all year is good for fairy lights. Why? Because they're lovely! They add warmth to any room – so don't pack them away now the tree's down. Get creative…

James Moore: Ocado can crow when the dividends flow

Outlook As if anyone needed evidence of the way the internet is gobbling up the high street, up popped Ocado with a 14.2 per cent rise in gross sales and an 11.4 per cent rise in orders over the Christmas.

Wind farm PFI deals are 'shocking', the Public Accounts Committee said

MPs say wind farm contracts are 'shocking'

Families could face higher electricity bills as a result of "shocking" blunders in awarding new contracts for offshore wind farms, a group of MPs has warned.

Has Rupert Murdoch turned into a climate change sceptic?

(And, if so, his late mother wouldn’t be very pleased)

Analysis of official figures showed that in the past two years nine of the 10 councils with the biggest improvements in recycling pick up non-recyclable waste fortnightly

Battle of the bins: Defra stats show fortnightly refuse collections INCREASES recycling

The battle of the bins has broken out again after analysis of Government figures showed that collecting refuse fortnightly - a policy considered by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, to be rubbish – increases recycling.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
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The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick