Sport Usain Bolt claims he devoured 1,000 Chicken McNuggets a day during the Beijing Olympics

View from the Sofa: Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, Channel 4

Matt Butler: Tons of fun with a true colossus outweigh the claims of pub games

View from the Sofa: World’s Strongest Man, Channel 5/ PDC World Darts, Sky Sports 1

One Direction's third album sold 685,000 copies in 2013

One Direction's Midnight Memories named biggest-selling album of 2013

The boy band may have achieved chart success, but 2013 marked the first year in a decade that no album sold more than 1 million copies in the UK

X-factor winner Sam Bailey's debut single 'Skyscraper' is this year's Christmas number one

Christmas number one 2013: X Factor winner Sam Bailey beats Pharrell Williams with 'Skyscraper'

Robbie Williams keeps One Direction off the top spot in the albums chart

Harriet Walker: Christmas is as close to crawling back into the womb as we’re likely to get

I love Christmas but don’t worry, I’m not going to proselytise about it. I won’t pretend it’s any more than an excuse for gluttony and for corporations to sell people tat they don’t need. I go into the festive period with my eyes open, thanks very much, and I’m more fascinated than I am fanatical. But I do love it.

Tim Key: ‘I’m in the midst of an office Christmas party. I feel like such an outsider’

One asks what I’m writing and I pretend I’m German

Do we really need a magical new Harry Potter play?

Fans will undoubtedly buy tickets, but let's hope it isn't a massive let-down

Simon Cowell may be back on our screens for the next series of The X Factor

The X Factor: Simon Cowell will 'definitely' return, says Louis Walsh

The judge is '70 per cent' certain that Cowell will return to the panel

Glasgow helicopter crash: Mourners gather for pilot Captain David Traill's funeral

Friend describes pilot as 'the greatest friend a man could hope for. A steady, loyal brother in arms'

Gary Barlow Day has been met with disapproval by critics

Gary Barlow day scaled back by BBC after impartiality criticism

A radio interview and online Q&A have been cut from the schedule

Elton John will duet with Gary Barlow on the final show of The X Factor

X Factor 2013: Elton John will join One Direction, Katy Perry and The Killers for the final show of the series

The star will duet with Gary Barlow despite attacking the show in the past

Gary Barlow Day has been met with disapproval by critics

BBC criticised over 'Gary Barlow day'

BBC criticised for over-exposing the singer in a day's worth of scheduling

One Direction have secured this year's fastest-selling album with Midnight Memories

One Direction score fastest-selling album of 2013 with Midnight Memories

The X Factor pop group kept current judge Gary Barlow from number one

Tamera Foster left the competition tonight after a sing-off with Luke Friend

X Factor 2013: Tamera Foster sent home and James Arthur apologises

Tamera lost to Luke Friend after James Arthur and Rebecca Ferguson performed

One Direction are heading for their second number one album with Midnight Memories

One Direction set to score fastest-selling album of 2013 with Midnight Memories

The pop group's new album has sold 145,000 copies in three days

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own