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“I would rather,” ventured Michael Clarke on the eve of leading Australia into this series with South Africa, “get a duck and win”

Clarke’s Bradman-like batting lies at the heart of Australia’s revival

Clarke has been at the heart as batsman and leader

The Duke of Cambridge makes a cup of tea

Wills, spills and bellyache – a day in the life of a duke

Making the tea, drinking the tea, polishing his helicopter and... saving lives. Now we know what Prince William gets up to all day

Ed Cowan and captain Michael Clarke lead Australia fightback against South Africa

Ed Cowan's maiden international century and an unbeaten double ton from captain Michael Clarke ensured that any hopes South Africa had of forcing a result in the first Test were all but wiped out at the Gabba after the hosts finished day four on 487 for four.

Thank Kevin for an advert that really connects

I'm not sure I'll be upgrading to 4G, but this lengthy advert had better production values than most of the stuff on TV

England captain Alastair Cook (right) speaks with bowler Monty Panesar

England labour for wickets against Haryana

England encountered more reminders of the perils of an India tour as they laboured for their wickets against Haryana.

Kurt Maetzig, film director: born Berlin 25 January 1911

Kurt Maetzig: Acclaimed socialist film director

Described by The International Film Encyclopedia as "one of the most important figures in postwar East German cinema", Kurt Maetzig declared: "I have never been a specialist for one particular genre, I have always been keen to open a window and see what happens", and throughout his 30-year career as a film director he displayed a satisfying versatility. Although a lifelong socialist whose loyalty won him the GDR's state award four times, he possessed an independence of spirit that resulted in his incisive 1965 "youth" subject Das Kaninchen bin ich being banned for nearly 15 years.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen makes early exit on return to England action

Kevin Pietersen provided the brief panache, and Alastair Cook the necessary substance, in their opening gambits on England's tour of India.

Steve Finn says it is ‘up to me to set the tone’ against Chris Gayle

Steven Finn injury rocks England's tour of India

Steven Finn gave England significant cause for concern as he limped out of the attack with a thigh injury on an awkward first day of their India tour.

Frank Worthington in his mid-Seventies heyday

Kevin Garside: Oh for some flair like Frank's to fire up dull England

The Last Word: Hodgson’s brief is to deliver us from the golden age that never was

Shanghai’s South Bund

Shaking it up in Shanghai

Waking up in the super-sleek bed in my room at The Waterhouse (1-3 Maojiayuan Road; 00 86 21 6080 2988; waterhouseshanghai.com) leaves me delightedly confused – the last time I awoke in Shanghai I was in a grotty hostel. This time around, we're poshing out at the minimalist boutique hotel in the up-and-coming Cool Docks – a refurbished part of Shanghai's South Bund.

The Black Lake, By Hella S Haasse

Shades of grey in the innocence of a colonial childhood

Bubble tea comes in a range of flavours – and colours

A curious kind of cuppa

Bubble tea is big in Asia and the US but now this strange brew – complete with tapioca 'pearls' – has reached the sipping point here, says Neela Debnath

Atul Kochhar, author and owner of Benares restaurant: 'I love cheap cheese slices, but I wouldn't feed them to my family'

My Life In Food: Atul Kochhar

'I love cheap cheese slices, but I wouldn't feed them to my family'

Mies Julie, Assembly Hall/ The Sewing Machine, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

Mies Julie is the jewel of Assembly’s glittering South African season this year. Produced by Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre, it thrums with menace and passion. The relationship between Julie and John is played out as a savagely erotic dance with death; by the end, the stage is slick with blood and sweat.

Tiffany Stevenson: Uncomfortably Numb, Underbelly, Edinburgh

Youth-preserving tips from a dermatologist inspired this latest hour from Tiffany Stevenson, known to television audiences from a stint on ITV’s ‘Show Me The Funny’ comedy competition.

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
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peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
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