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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Independent Travel
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker