Arts and Entertainment

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

Electronic smoking devices invented by Hon Lik

Q&A: How do e-cigarettes work?

Manufacturers to face tough new tests before they can sell devices that help smokers avoid the lethal effects of tobacco

Ipswich theatre company helps drug users to break the cycle of addiction in town recovering from 'Suffolk strangler' murders

In 2008, Steve Wright, a forklift truck driver dubbed the “Suffolk strangler”, was jailed for life for murdering five women who worked as prostitutes in Ipswich.

Mohammed Hamid, described as 'dangerously charming', progressed from shoplifting to turning young men into jihadists

Mohamed Hamid: From petty criminal to tutor of terrorists

Preacher, described as ‘dangerously charming’, progressed from shoplifting to turning young men into jihadists

Comment: We've all had an itch we need to scratch, but what exactly is it?

As new research claims to hold the key to suppressing the irritating sensation, Steve Connor explains what causes an itch

Video: ‘Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder’

Richard Wallace came to public attention in the Channel 4 programme ‘Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder’ has become a well-known sufferer of the condition of the need to hoard items. Click on the link below to see a clip from the show

A big bit of TLC: Honey Boo Boo (front left) and family, from the American reality show

Grace Dent on TV: Extreme Couponing, My Strange Addiction, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC

I’ve envied men and channel Dave for too long. Now, at last, there is a channel Grace

Hold the front page: Ferguson’s retirement relegated the Queen’s Speech and global atrocities to the news in brie

The Last Word: One warm gesture said more than all the Fergie hot air

The tributes to Sir Alex were out of proportion, but not his pledge to a more moving retiree

My name is Dom, and my wife is a grass addict

I suppose it happens to us all at some stage – none of us is safe from addiction and the scary grip it can have on your life. I myself have bravely struggled with an espresso problem for years. It has driven me to terrible depths. I am often to be found at the bottom of the drive hanging around the post box "waiting for the man" – the Nespresso man. This evil bastard now has me in his nefarious clutches. He takes longer and longer to deliver my stash and this affects my moods. I snarl at people who offer me an "eXpresso" – "it's eSpresso" I growl at them like some Stroud stoner watching a yurt guest use a rolling machine for a joint.

David Potts: 'Alcoholism is ugly and pernicious'

'Take a lesson from my book': David Potts, Private Eye 'Socialite of the Year' and councillor who laid bare his alcoholism, dies aged 30

Council leader pays tribute to 'immensely talented and highly educated young man'

Jazz McCutcheon, 18, student

Case study: 'Diet pills didn't do anything apart from make me feel worse'

Death of medical student Sarah Houston highlights dangers of buying pills online

Brighton's drug addicts will be given ‘safe houses’ to take drugs legally, but is this really the answer?

These supervised rooms for drug consumption might seem like the cutting edge, but until drug treatment is viewed as a health issue, they're unlikely to be successful

‘Drug consumption rooms’ already operate in 10 countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, Germany and Spain

'Shooting galleries': The drug plan that could be too liberal even for Brighton

Plans for Britain’s first legal ‘consumption rooms’ are unsettling the resort widely touted as a prime location

More than 2,000 teachers have put their names to a petition condemning Michael Gove's proposed national curriculum reforms

Teachers speak out against Michael Gove's 'lists of facts' curriculum

More than 2,000 teachers have put their names to a petition condemning Michael Gove's proposed national curriculum reforms.

The meaning of March madness

Why do Americans go nuts for this annual basketball competition?

Album: British Sea Power, Machineries of Joy (Rough Trade)

It's almost boring: yet another excellent British Sea Power album.

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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?