Diary: The paper with teeth

* The News of the World seemed both inspired and confused on the octogenarian dental front. The paper collects Headline of the Week for "Gum And Get It", and Backhanded Compliment of the Decade for this contradictory reference: "Sheila, who looks a lot younger than she is and still has nearly all her own teeth ..." Genius.

Amy Jenkins: Any writing can sound awful if you read it aloud in a silly voice

So Alastair Campbell is worse at sex than Tony Blair – worse at writing about it, that is. The Literary Review has published this year's shortlist for the Bad Sex Award and Blair hasn't made it to the final eight.

The Sketch: With Clegg sidelined, Dave sees off Harriet with genuine warmth

With Edwina Miliband at home on new-baby duties, we expected a battle of the deputies for PMQs. But after last week's gruelling encounter on tuition fees, Nick Clegg was stood down to recuperate and the Prime Minister faced up to Harriet himself.

Sir George Young defends Tory vanity staff on public payroll

A Cabinet minister today defended the practice of putting some Conservative Party officials and aides on the public payroll.

Sales soar as talking books mark 75 years

What began as a public service for blinded First World War veterans is now a major publishing success story

BBC's Nick Robinson 'not ashamed' after stamping on protester's sign

The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said he was "not remotely ashamed" after being filmed stamping on an anti-war protester's sign.

Happy returns to No 10 for Thatcher's 85th birthday

Lord Heseltine is not on the list. John Major is out of the country, and Nick Clegg has "another engagement". But Lord Howe, whose resignation speech ended Margaret Thatcher's reign in Downing Street, will today be a guest of honour at the former prime minister's 85th birthday party in Downing Street.

Blair 'to do God' in debate with Hitchens

Since one of them is one of most self-publicised atheists in the Western world and the other is arguably the most famous living convert to the Roman Catholic Church, there may not be much of a meeting of minds. Yet Tony Blair has agreed to share a platform with the British-born journalist, Christopher Hitchens, to argue over whether religion is a good thing generally, or not.

DVD & Blu-ray reviews

John Rentoul: Blair's gift to Cameron – a leader's guide

New Labour's belated recognition of the gap between saying and doing will come in handy for his successor at No 10

Inside Politics - Blair Quiz Answers

1 The Freedom of Information Act

School that refused to become academy is most improved

It was probably the kind of place that Alastair Campbell had in mind when he referred to "bog standard comprehensive schools". Yet Perry Beeches school in Birmingham has shaken off all attempts to turn it into an academy, and has now become the most improved school in the history of exam results.

Mandelson tops MPs' summer reading list

Books about the New Labour government feature highly in MPs' summer reading lists ahead of the publication of former prime minister Tony Blair's hotly anticipated memoirs, a survey revealed today.

Image makers have planned every last detail of Tony Blair book launch

Three years after he left office, the image makers are still working overtime on Tony Blair.

Donald Macintyre: The pitfalls of the Westminster memoir

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam