Film review: The Innocents (12A)

Dir. Jack Clayton, 100 mins Starring: Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Peter Wyngarde

High spirits: comedian Pippa Evans, co-founder of the Sunday Assembly

The Week in Comedy: The 12 gigs of Christmas

What does Miley Cyrus have at Christmas? Twerky. This, according to a poll by the comedy channel Gold, is the nation's favourite new festive joke and as such will feature in a specially commissioned box of comedy crackers this Christmas. I think I preferred the runner-up - Why is it getting harder to buy Advent calendars? Because their days are numbered - but they're neither of them close to the all-time classic: How do snowmen get around? They ride an icicle. You can have that one.

Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in a scene from August: Osage County

Backstage: Who dares tell Meryl Streep how to act? Step up George Clooney

Film producers face a delicate balancing act between adding their input and not treading on the creative toes of the director, the writer and the actors. It seems Harvey Weinstein has a new tactic: send in George Clooney.

British drama Downton Abbey has been nominated for Best Television Drama Series at the Golden Globes 2014

Golden Globes 2014: Television nominations in full

US shows dominate but Julian Fellowes' hit brings it for the Brits

A rare success: Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in Philomena

Golden Globes 2014: Nominations list in full

British film Philomena has won three nominations at the awards

Ever wondered what would happen if Sir Ian McKellen actually came face-to-face with himself (OK, fine, Gandalf) in puppet form?

Watch: The moment Sir Ian McKellen met his Gandalf Sesame Street puppet

No, the world didn’t implode, but the entire event – captured on Vine for all to see – did make us laugh profusely.

The cast of the original History Boys production at the National Theatre

The History Boys voted nation's favourite play

The Alan Bennett play beat Michael Frayn's 'Noises Off' to top the list

Marion Cotillard says she struggled to understand the script for Macbeth

Marion Cotillard reveals she 'struggled' to understand script for upcoming Macbeth film

Speaking at the Moroccan Film Festival, the actress said she found it hard to understand the Shakespearean script for her forthcoming film

Finally a deal, of sorts, is close on the US debt crisis

Legislators are brokering an agreement that will put an end to the threat of another costly shutdown

New housing developments, such as the one at East Village near the former Olympic Stadium in east London, which will provide 2,818 apartments, are too few and far between, warn analysts

Housing double whammy: A whole generation ‘won’t be able to buy or rent a home’

Unless we build affordable housing, more and more people will be priced out, say experts

Benedict Cumberbatch will play Hamlet in autumn next year

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch to play Hamlet on London stage in 2014

The British actor will take on Shakespeare's iconic role in autumn 2014

Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye scores the winner at Old Trafford

Manchester United need immediate lift to take the crisis out of change and relieve pressure on David Moyes

United lost back-to-back home Premier League games for the first time since 2002

Food for thought: Jack Thorne, playwright and screenwriter

The playwright/screenwriter’s stage adaptation of Let the Right One In is at the Royal Court, London, until 21 December. His film adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel A Long Way Down is out in March.

Why Can The Dead Do Such Great Things? By Robert Bartlett: Book review

The jury is out on the cult of saints and martyrs in this magisterial work

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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
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
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?