Arts and Entertainment Kylie Minogue's arrival as a judge for The Voice saw the BBC show thrash ITV's Splash

BBC show thrashes ITV's Splash, where viewing figures dived

Album: Cheryl Cole, 3 Words (Fascination)

Just as Whitney Houston's comeback album follows an autobiographical subtext in which most of the material deals with her overcoming her tribulations, so does Cheryl Cole's solo debut appear to follow an equivalent subtext in which the path to romantic fulfillment is pock-marked with treachery, uncertainty and secrecy.

DVD review: X Men Origins: Wolverine, For retail & rental (20th Century Fox)

Gavin Hood, the director of Tsotsi, revives Marvel Comics' X-Men franchise with this handsome yet redundant prequel.

DVD review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Gavin Hood, 107 mins (12)

Young Logan (Hugh Jackman) claws his old man to death and goes on the run with his similarly clawed brother, Victor (Liev Schreiber – what in hell's teeth is he doing in this rot?).

Album: David Guetta, One Love (Virgin)

It opens with a piano rifft hat shamelessly steals from Coldplay's "Clocks", but it's not long beforethe familiar thud-thud thud of house music takes over, trampling all other musical influences in its wake.

Black Eyed Peas make US chart history

Will.i.am would love to say 'I told you so' to all the people who have bashed the Black Eyed Peas in the past, but he won't - even though the group just made history on the Billboard charts.

My Fantasy Band: Marina Diamandis, Marina and the Diamonds

Vocals - Brody Dalle
The Distillers frontwoman's voice is really raw and quite aggressive, but completely beautiful at the same time; she doesn't really sound like a woman. And she's an amazing frontperson: so much energy. I really want to see her new band Spinnerette, but it seems that every time they play over here I have a gig on myself, so I miss them. I'd love to meet her one day.

Hit & Run: What does it feel like to be shot with a Taser?

It’d be difficult to get a coherent description of the sensation from, say, the bull, eight dogs, and a Welsh sheep (nicknamed Sparky) who, according to Freedom of Information Act statistics, are among those who have been Tasered by police since the introduction of the 50,000-volt stun-guns in 2004. But human victims have been more forthcoming. One, David Sylvester, a grandfather who owns his own security business, last year told the Independent’s Johann Hari how he suffered indescribable pain when Tasered in the head by police in London.

Another Taser target said it was “like someone reached into my body to rip my muscles apart with a fork.” And a third London man, attacked by muggers using a stun-gun – which can generate an electric shock as great as the police Tasers – says: “I felt like I’d been stabbed in the back with a knitting needle. My knees went from under me. It was really frightening. It left burn marks on my skin, even through my clothes.”

Civil liberties campaigners have called for a ban on use of the weapons, but 6,000 more Tasers are due to be issued to UK police. The London Met are the most trigger-happy force, and have used Tasers 254 times (of 1,181 nationwide).

Unlike one Gwent officer – who checked to see if his weapon was working, only to shoot a barb into his own finger – the Met have managed to avoid Tasering themselves. Tim Walker

Win an Xbox 360

An Xbox 360 and the brand new X-Men Origins: Wolverine video game are up for grabs

Will.i.am: Pop genius, digital mogul...and Obama's new best friend

He has sold 18m albums and worked with everyone from Justin Timberlake to U2 – which would do nicely for most 34-year-old record producers. But not Will.i.am. The pop genius behind Black Eyed Peas tells Craig McLean why he's going toe-to-toe with Facebook and how he personally ensured Barack Obama's election victory

Games Review: X-Men Origins:
Wolverine

PC, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Activision, £19.99-£49.99

The Independent Film Forum: 13. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Our film forum is your chance to pass judgement on a recent release. Here's a selection of your views on the new superhero flick, starring Hugh Jackman

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (12A)

From the word "Origins," you might assume this is a Star Wars-style episode about how the X-Men characters evolved into super-heroes.

The Independent Film Forum: Have your say on 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'

The next film up for discussion in The Independent Film Forum will be X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Does Gavin Hood's new superhero flick with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine do justice to the Marvel original? Or was this a film too far for the franchise? Add your comments below and we'll print the best in the paper next week.

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Day In a Page

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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

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Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
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As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
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Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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