News Christmas Day 2013 was all about the battle for the other most worthy yuletide delivery: the alternative Christmas message.

While Channel 4 located the alabaster NSA whistleblower, several other household names came out of the tinsel

Gorillaz: Monkey business

What's it like living on a desert island? And, does Snoop Dogg party harder than you? On the eve of their new album, The Independent quizzes Gorillaz bass player Murdoc

NME Godlike Genius award for Modfather Paul Weller

Chart veteran Paul Weller is to receive a top honorary prize at this year's NME Awards, the annual Godlike Genius title, it was announced today.

Jamie T, Rock City, Nottingham<br/>DMC, Jazz Café, London

While the word on the street shows signs of growing up, Old Skool never dies

First Night: Jamie T, Rock City, Nottingham

Faithful followers rewarded with a rousing return to the stage

Vampire Weekend, Somerset House, London

London's pavements have just stopped resembling the ice-rink on which children spin, largely oblivious to New York's hippest band playing on the balcony above them.

Royal Mail unveil classic album cover stamps

Led Zeppelin guitar legend, Jimmy Page, today launched the Royal Mail’s much awaited New Year stamp collection featuring ten of the most iconic album covers of the last 40 years.

Chile: In the Atacama, the world holds its breath

Chile's desert is so still, so quiet, a traveller might feel they had entered a vast sensory deprivation chamber. It looks, and sounds, like no place on earth

Rankin: When two-faced is a good thing

They are some of the world's most recognisable faces: defaced. A series of revealing photographs show pop stars rejecting their polished images in order to create original artworks to sell at a charity auction.

The end of a real page-turner

It was the information superhighway of its day &ndash; but thanks to the internet, Teletext's days are numbered

'I forgive you': The Clash's drummer Topper Headon makes peace with the man who sacked him

In the late 1970s, a drummer called Topper Headon joined The Clash, the most exciting rock'n'roll band in the world. There followed five years of non-stop playing, partying and drug-taking...but by 1982, Headon's heroin addiction was out of control, and Clash leader Joe Strummer was forced to sack him. Then things got really bad. Today, reflective and sober, he tells Mark Lucas his remarkable story

London calling for Jones' Clash show

Mick Jones, guitarist from The Clash, is standing in his lock-up in north Acton. He is sifting through and boxing up his collection of rock paraphernalia, including stained Clash clothing, and the famous pink Clash flight-cases, to be exhibited in Chelsea in March. It is his alternative to the upcoming "British Music Experience" opening at the O2 next month, and the feeling couldn't be less corporate.

The last chord at the Astoria

London's iconic rock venue is closing next week. To mark its passing, Sam Duckworth of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly shares his memories before giving it the send-off it deserves
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen