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

The worst gigs of all time

Everyone has their memories of great concerts. But what about those that the artists would prefer we forget? Pierre Perrone refuses to let them die

Behind bars: Bragg to brings sound of music to prisons

As part of a unique initiative, Billy Bragg(with a little help from Mick Jones and others)wants to get musical instruments into all ofBritain’s prisons. But to the Bard of Barking,these aren’t gifts: they’re potential lifesavers.Nick Duerden reports

Billy Bragg's jailhouse rock project cuts reoffending rate

Billy Bragg has backed the miners, campaigned against racism and promoted perestroika in the Soviet Union. Yet the folk-rock singer from Barking has embarked on his most ambitious socio-political project to date; an attempt to wean convicted criminals serving time away from a life of crime. And it's working.

First Super Casino to open in Manchester

Manchester will host the UK's first Las Vegas-style supercasino, it was announced today.

The Ten Best: Australian wines

1 Yarrabank Brut Cuvée £18.25

Tracey Emin: My Life in a Column

At the grand old age of 42, I've learnt I can't have everything I want (apart from sleep)

CULTURAL LIFE: TIM BURGESS, SINGER

Books

The No 1 quiz: how many hits did you get?

1. Al Martino, 'Here In My Heart' (14 November 1952)

The Dead 60s: The Sixties live again

A Top 20 single, a tour with Morrissey, mobs of frenzied fans in Japan - for The Dead 60s, things could hardly be going better. Charlotte Cripps meets Liverpool's latest sensations

Strummer calling

As well as being a punk pioneer, Joe Strummer had an extraordinary hoarding instinct. Ian Burrell discovers the unknown side of the Clash front man

Bridgewater calling: Strummer's friends want concrete folly turned into memorial

He was renowned for provocation not preservation, for opposing the establishment, not conserving it. But now Joe Strummer, the iconoclastic Clash frontman known for songs such as "White Riot" and "Guns of Brixton", could posthumously save a crumbling example of Britain's architectural heritage.

Pomp (and pomposity) at MOJO pop awards

There was pageantry, pomp and - thanks to Sting - not a little pomposity as music's aristocracy gathered in Whitehall yesterday for a long afternoon of exchanging gongs and pickling livers.

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

A fast-moving Turkish farce delights Stephen O'Shea with its intellectual energy and prescience

Telford feeling Cup fever

Crewe Alexandra 0 Telford United 1
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The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
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Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
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One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone