New Year"s Day 2013 weather: Sunny start to the year as Britain finally sees break in the clouds

Sunny start to the year! Britain finally sees break in the clouds as clear skies replace ice and floodsTemperatures will be three or four degrees warmer for the next two weeksRevellers and early morning walkers welcomed January's first rays today The dry weather follows the wettest year on record in England , it's finally drying up for the start of the New Year. Many families spent the end of December cleaning up after flooding and struggling to travel because of impassable roads and cancelled transport services. But after the wettest year on record, the outlook is far brighter for 2013, with temperatures leaping by four degrees and the rain staying mostly away for the start of January

The dogs given a new life for Christmas: Three shih-tzus so badly neglected they couldn"t see happily rehomed after makeover

The dogs given a new life for Christmas: Three badly neglected shih-tzus cleaned up and rehomed with loving families Dogs were rescued by RSPCA after six months of horrifying neglectLacy, Molly and Angus were unable to see or walk when found Inspector: 'I've never seen such a deeply depressing sight as these dogs'Owner Pauline Kinghorn has been banned from keeping animals for life | UPDATED: 14:30 GMT, 24 December 2012 Three dogs who were neglected so badly that they could not see or walk have all been re-homed with loving families in time for Christmas. The three shih-tzus had to be rescued from squalid conditions which left their coats so overgrown and matted with food and faeces that they could not see properly and had to drag their back legs when they tried to move around. Lacy, Molly and Angus, who are now healthy, have each gone to new homes after it was estimated that they had been neglected for at least six months

Nelson Mandela to spend Christmas in hospital: Ailing apartheid hero still recovering from operation

Nelson Mandela to spend Christmas in hospital: Ailing apartheid hero still recovering from operationFormer South African leader's is to stay in hospital for Christmas DayMr Mandela is said to be improving and responding to treatmentPresident Zuma has said the whole country is behind Mr Mandela | UPDATED: 17:13 GMT, 24 December 2012 Former South Africa leader Nelson Mandela will spend Christmas Day in hospital as he continues to recover from his operation. Mr Mandela's doctors confirmed the news today, the presidency has said in a statement. The anti-apartheid figure was admitted on December 8 to a hospital in Pretoria, the South African capital

Christmas 2012: The hilarious awkward festive family photos bound to make even scrooge laugh out loud

Simply having a wonderfully awkward Christmas time! Festive family photos that'll make even the worst scrooge laugh out loud | UPDATED: 16:03 GMT, 23 December 2012 Taking holiday photos can often be an awkward experience for the senders as well as the receivers. On some occasions the images come out looking picture perfect.

Pippa opening sexy underwear, Carole enjoying a sneaky ciggie and mum-to-be tucking into turkey: Christmas at the Middletons… or is it?

Pippa opening sexy underwear, Carole enjoying a sneaky ciggie and mum-to-be tucking into turkey: Christmas at the Middletons' home… or is it | UPDATED: 23:07 GMT, 22 December 2012 It's the Middletons as you’ve never seen them before – letting their hair down behind the closed doors of their Berkshire home as they celebrate the last Christmas before the birth of a Royal baby. And there’s special cause for a party this year as the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William are spending the festive season with her parents, having decided that a formal Christmas at Sandringham might be too much for Kate, given her severe morning sickness.

Malcolm Levesconte: Generous strangers show Christmas generousity as festive fund "stolen" by landlord is replaced

The kindness of strangers: Internet well-wishers replace 30,000 Christmas club fund 'stolen' by pub landlord in just THREE daysOne kind-hearted anonymous benefactor gave the villagers 10,000Landlord Malcolm Levesconte is thought to have fled the countryPolice fear he may have jumped into the sea from a ferry bound for France | UPDATED: 20:24 GMT, 19 December 2012 Vanished: Malcolm Levesconte, 59, is thought to have fled the country and then jumped into the sea while on a ferry to France When a pub landlord disappeared with a 30,000 Christmas fund raised by families just before the big day, it came close to ruining village festivities. But generous strangers restored local faith in the season of goodwill, by replacing the money within days.

Christmas 2012: Hilarious pictures show what happens when Santa has one sherry too many

Bad Santas! Hilarious pictures show what happens when Father Christmas has one sherry too many | UPDATED: 19:05 GMT, 17 December 2012 Everyone likes a drink over the festive period – even Father Christmas. But in this amusing set of pictures it looks like Santa has had a few too many seasonal sherries. In one snap Father Christmas must have been so drunk he lost the reindeer because he is seen passed out on a train seat.

Summer North: Cleveland schoolgirl has her Christmas wish granted when she is reunited with her father

Santa strikes early: Schoolgirl, 4, visiting grotto sees her wish come true as returning soldier father miraculously appears All Summer North wanted for Christmas was to see her soldier father Corporal Darren North, 27, surprised her as she visited Santa's grotto | UPDATED: 19:23 GMT, 17 December 2012 A schoolgirl who wished for her soldier father to come home for Christmas saw her dream come true when he surprised her at Santa's grotto. Summer North, four, told Father Christmas she missed her father Darren, who has been serving with the 2 Yorkshire Regiment in Cyprus since October. Santa then asked her 'Who is this' and Corporal North, 27, walked into the grotto to the astonishment of his elder daughter, who flew into his arms.

Mary Berry gives her top tips on how to make your Christmas dinner perfect

Plan ahead for a very Berry Christmas: Mary gives her top tips on how to make your dinner perfect Mary Berry said people often bought too much Christmas foodShe said planning should start in the early weeks of December | UPDATED: 04:39 GMT, 6 December 2012 Sage advice: Mary Berry offers some money-saving tips for the festive season It is the belt-straining finale to the Christmas meal, a massive pudding accompanied by oodles of brandy butter. But families would do better to either buy a smaller one or, preferably, bake their own, says TV cook Mary Berry