Voices

For Evelyn Waugh, it was nothing less than "that original garden from which we are all exiled". Now it is the BBC that has strayed into the paradisal precincts of Blandings castle, bringing woolly-headed Clarence, ninth Earl of Emsworth, his indomitable sister Lady Constance Keeble and the irreverent Galahad Threepwood (last of the Pelicans) to the small screen for the first time since the 1960s.

The Weekend's Television: Gunrush, SUN ITV1<br/>
The Rules of Film Noir, SAT, BBC4<br/>
Bus Pass Bullfighter, Fri, CHANNEL 4

Is ITV fulfilling its obligations as a public-service broadcaster?

Meeting prostitute helped Friel relate to Street role

Anna Friel has told how she met up with a prostitute while researching her new role for drama The Street and said that as a mother she can empathise with the desperate measures her character takes.

Observations: Dardentor is not just another teens' movie

Film production can be pretty gruelling. From raising the finance, to bringing the stars on board and overseeing the smooth running of the shoot, the buck stops with the producer. Normally, it doesn't involve having to pass A levels at the same time. Yet, not much is normal about the production of Dardentor. Producers Adrian Bliss, Benjamin Robbins and Toby Stubbs are all in their teens for a start. They are currently attempting to raise £1m for their first feature film with an unorthodox financing plan.

Black and white and red all over: Left-wing reads

Socialist fiction, feminist theory, even Marxist tracts &ndash; thanks to the recession, the classic left-wing reads of yesteryear are back in vogue. But which titles really deliver power to the people? Andy McSmith finds out

Beale's Best In Show: Levi's (BBH)

Not many advertisers stay married to the same ad agency for five years, let alone 25. But the relationship that Levi's has with Bartle Bogle Hegarty has done more than stand the test of time. It has set the advertising agenda and produced some of the most enduring and iconic campaigns of the last quarter of a century.

Death Defying Acts (PG)

This episode in the life of Harry Houdini has plenty going for it – Guy Pearce as the celebrated escapologist, Timothy Spall as his manager, Gillian Armstrong directing – and its 1920s Edinburgh setting offers a Gothic intrigue.

Sport on TV: War and Peace: usual rules in the Broad Acres

There cannot have been many greater characters in British sport than Brian Clough. So much so that a mythology has engulfed his memory. There have now been at least seven biographies of the self-proclaimed "Ol' Big 'Ead", the latest, 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me' by Duncan Hamilton, winning the 2007 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.

Preview: Hello and Goodbye, Trafalgar Studios, London

Sibling rivalry in the slums of South Africa

Billie Piper's call girl leads British charge at Europe's top TV awards

Dramas, documentaries and sitcoms from the BBC and Channel 4 account for almost half of all nominations at this year's prestigious Golden Rose festival

Timothy Spall: Lucky Tim

Timothy Spall is a very fine actor, and a lovely man. Now he's broken into the Hollywood big league, but it hasn't changed him one bit. He still loves Mike Leigh, 'nice arms' and, most important of all, Rich Tea biscuits. Portrait by Eva Vermandel

Review: Parky's predictability can be relaxing but what the Dickens have they done to young Twist?

Parkinson: the Final Conversation, ITV1; Oliver Twist, BBC1; Liverpool Nativity, BBC3; Make Me a Muslim, Channel 4

The Man Who Saved Britain, by Simon Winder

Shaken and stirred by a suave saviour

All or Nothing

Leigh's all-seeing eye shows Spall at his masterly best

The Wisdom of Crocodiles, by Paul Hoffman

A Bulgarian vampire in East Anglia
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick