Voices

Moving house really brings you up to speed with the state of customer service in modern-day Britain. For the past two weeks I have been waging an almost constant war, via Twitter, email and phone, to get companies to do the simplest things like turn up on time (or even on the right day), deliver the correct item or offer help over the phone in something resembling human. I am fortunate in that I am a very minor celebrity with a healthy amount of Twitter followers. Time and again, the moment I tweeted my grievances the managing director or head of customer care would be in touch within 15 minutes promising to solve the problem. This is brilliant for me, but it's a sad state of affairs that problems that are easily solved can only be dealt with because I once dressed as a large squirrel.

My So-Called Life: Never mind the Botox, I'm lovely inside

Apparently, the number of cosmetic surgery operations in Britain shot up by a massive 52 per cent in the past year - and that doesn't include 72,000 lesser procedures, such as collagen injections or Botox, the deadly poison that gives you the charming look of a tambourine minus the jingle- jangle bits, although I'm sure that's only a matter of time. (That way, at least, you'll always be able to tell when Anne Robinson or Princess Michael of Kent are coming up behind you, which must be worth something in anyone's book.)

How much of a clever clogs are you?

None of us like to think that we are guilty of pedantry, yet we are all, in varying degrees, likely to find it aggravating when friends and relations commit tiny trivial errors. Often we insist on correcting those errors, and although we think that thereby we are building a reputation for wisdom and knowledge, in fact we are just getting a name as a clever clogs.

Anne Robinson - because she's worth it?

Anne Robinson has put her foot in it again, this time insulting her native Liverpool. But she won't have to do a Boris - we'll forgive her anything, even that wink

Lost Cymru

The valleys are in uproar. EU statisticians would now be as welcome in Wales as the news that Anne Robinson is buying a holiday cottage in the village next door. Forgetting to put this land of minstrels and poets on the cover of the 2004 Eurostat Yearbook was probably not the most sensible way of advancing to "ever closer union", all things considered.

Moscow Stories: Nostalgia for discipline

Both the founder of the KGB and our own Iron Lady are back in fashion. Mary Dejevsky detects a longing for the age of 'order'

Camilla 'to join march'

Sport and salad dressing

'"Dallaglio" is the Italian for "with garlic". "Dell'Olio" is the Italian for "with oil". Now we only need someone whose name means "vinegar"!'

NHS lab to launch rival to Botox in US

The health service could earn millions from a bacterial answer to lines and wrinkles

Comedy: GIG OF THE WEEK; Rich Hall Mon The Comedy Store, London SW1

You may think the depravity of prisoners isn't a subject for knock- about comedy. By any conventional standards, Otis Lee Crenshaw, a Deep South convict in jail for "involuntary bigamy" and played by American stand-up Rich Hall, should be prompting letters of outrage to the Attorney General, or at least Anne Robinson. But the more Crenshaw ignores good taste with his spoof Country & Western songs, the more audiences lap him up. "I guess prison rape has got a bit of a bad name," he muses at one point, "but I always said if I ever wrote a song about it, I'd make it romantic." Musical guests include Bill Bailey, Boothby Graffoe, Phil Nichol and Steve Gribbin.
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain