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'
Career Services

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital