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Once the voice of the more civilised wing of the party, the think-tank is now firmly in the Let’s Get Nasty Again tendency

A clever person's guide to Christmas: Survive 25 December with our Yuletide timetable

Do you dread the turkey? Despair of the TV schedules? Michael Bywater has the ...solution

Ingrid Pitt: Actress and writer who escaped from East Germany and became 'England's first lady of horror'

Statuesque, tawny-haired Ingrid Pitt will be remembered as the buxom actress with exotic looks and an intriguing accent who brought an overt sexuality to Hammer horror, as the star of the studio's first film to concentrate on female protagonists, The Vampire Lovers (1970). She also starred in Countess Dracula (1971), based on a real-life case, in which she played the title character, who drained girls of their blood to retain her youth. After that, her cult following labelled her "England's first lady of horror".

Album: My Chemical Romance, Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys (Reprise)

Who knew nihilist emo-punk could be so theatrical? My Chemical Romance revealed their penchant for the grand conceit with 2006's The Black Parade, a concept album about cancer that featured a queasy onstage mix of Busby Berkeley and pyrotechnics.

Still haunted by the ghosts of the past

The return of Hammer sees the house of horror leave the Home Counties behind. Geoffrey Macnab welcomes new blood

Let Me In (15)

Readers review this week's big film

Sarah Churchwell: I'd expect better of you, Emma

It is unfortunate that women are embracing these derogatory and sexist labels

Due Date, Todd Phillips, 96 mins (15)<br/>Let Me In, Matt Reeves, 116 mins (15)

Listen buddy, what do you mean this road movie is just an old re-tread?

Guillermo del Toro: The master of the labyrinth escapes from Middle Earth

His fantastical films explore many horrors, but none quite so terrible as his lengthy Hobbit nightmare, he tells James Mottram.

Shetlands make list of world's best tourism regions

A group of British islands noted for wildlife and remoteness have been included in a list of the 10 best regions in the world for tourism by travel guide Lonely Planet.

'This Life' actor stars in American zombie blockbuster

Hot on the heels of Hugh Laurie, Andrew Lincoln puts on accent to star in the next TV hit in the US

Bite: A Vampire Handbook, By Kevin Jackson

The author lists a series of alleged vampire epidemics – Istria (1672), Hungary (1725-32), Silesia (1755), Wallachia (1756) – that took place in the right place (Mitteleuropa) but the wrong time (the Age of Enlightenment).

Unholy Awakening, By Michael Gregorio

Prussian bloodsucker has real bite

Vampires Suck (12A)

But they don't suck as much as lame-brain parodists Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, already responsible for the likes of Scary Movie and Meet the Spartans.

Roy Ward Baker: Director who worked on thrillers, drama, horror and science-fiction but is best known for 'A Night to Remember'

The film and television director Roy Ward Baker directed A Night to Remember, still considered the finest film to deal with the maiden voyage of the Titanic. He also made such notable films as The October Man, The One That Got Away and Quatermass and the Pit. He directed Marilyn Monroe in her first starring dramatic role, in Don't Bother to Knock; Dirk Bogarde and John Mills in the cult western The Singer Not the Song; and Bette Davis as a monstrous one-eyed family despot in The Anniversary.

Tom Sutcliffe: Tales of mystery and imagination

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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
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
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Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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