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

You ask the questions: Tony Parsons

(Such as: Tony Parsons, how do you feel about Julie Burchill's vitriol towards you?)

MUSIC: Lyric Sheets: Hamster

A SINGLE featuring a yodelling hamster seems the only threat to Sir Cliff Richard's chart supremacy this side of Christmas. 'Cognoscenti versus Intelligentsia', by The Cuban Boys, is a dance mix of the cult rodent taken from the eighth most-visited Internet site

Arts: The week in radio: Sorry, Cliff. Radio 2 plays music that rocks

MY GOOD friend, Greg Dyke - whom I have never met - has, all of a sudden, an impressive number of equally good friends both within the BBC and beyond. Among them is Janet Street-Porter, editor of the Independent on Sunday and a former colleague of Mr Dyke at LWT. Writing in The Independent last Monday, Janet was full of advice for the new BBC Director General.

Punk: Out of Bondage

Whatever happened to all those punks who scared the tabloids and upset the Queen with their safety-pin fashions and calls to anarchy? As a new book is published celebrating this unique moment in British culture, Jonathan Dyson tracks down those who made it all happen. Original photographs by Ray Stevenson. Portraits by Florian Jaenicke

Football Fan's Eye View: Colchester United - A swift and defiant single-finger salute

UNLIKE MOST football fans who know that moment inside out, I can't remember the first time I saw my beloved Colchester United. No matter how hard I try, my memory simply refuses to offer up a romantic August afternoon, sun beaming in the sky, as we rattle five goals past a hapless Hartlepool and I fall head over heels in love with the Us. It just wasn't like that. In fact, my earliest flashback is of a tragic Friday night home game where we were beaten 1-0 by Mansfield.

Books: Inspirations - Novelist Joseph O'Connor

The music

Business Post falls to pounds 8.8m

BUSINESS POST founder and chief executive, Peter Kane, gave his first profit figures since replacing Mick Jones as head of the UK parcel and mail delivery company. Announcing a 6 per cent fall in profits to pounds 8.8m, which Mr Kane attributed to a 33 per cent rise in operating costs, he vowed to "tighten up manning levels".

On the rocky road to love

MONDAY BOOK: SHOULD YOU LEAVE? THE DILEMMAS OF INTIMACY BY Peter D Kramer, Gollancz, pounds 16.99

Kane brothers back at Business Post

BUSINESS POST, the fast- growing express parcels and letter delivery group, is back in the firm grip of its founders, the brothers Peter and Michael Kane, after a major shake-up in the boardroom.

Arts: A high octane blast of Rocket 'n' roll

Pop; ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT THE GARAGE LONDON

Here we are now, entertain us

Nick Broomfield's Kurt and Courtney started life as a biopic of Kurt Cobain - the life, music and violent death of a pop icon. But now it's set its sights on censorship, fame, image manipulation. And truth. By James Mottram

Review: Kids on the hop

Asian Dub Foundation Shepherd's Bush Empire

Five fading careers revived on celluloid

1 Wet Wet Wet: 'Love Is All Around' - 'Four Weddings And A Funeral'
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions