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

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower