Fakes flood out of Syria as smugglers fail to steal masterpieces

In the first of a four-part series from Damascus, Patrick Cockburn finds that while much of Syria’s cultural heritage has been saved from being destroyed by Isis, workshops are taking advantage of the civil war to turn out imitations that are sold to the West

The Insider: Illuminated letters make a good personalised gift

A friend emailed to ask where she could get a giant letter "M" that lights up for her husband's 40th birthday present. Certainly, the typography trend isn't going anywhere – and old, illuminated letters are a nice twist on our lexical love affair. But they're not easy to find; here's what's available…

Portobello House Hotel Bistro, 225 Ladbroke Grove, London W10

Ladbroke Grove is a history lesson in brick and concrete. It was the core of the Ladbroke Estate, an explosion of posh properties built in the 1840s after the Hippodrome Racecourse, north of Portobello Road, failed to attract punters and closed down. The classy gardens, squares, villas and crescents of 'Leafy Ladbroke' came to rival the stylish Whig mansions of Holland Park to the south. Unfortunately, on the north side, the demand for house-building for wealthy Victorians dwindled, then stopped, in the 1860s. It was a project which just ran out of money.

Arthur (12A)

Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig

Diary: Ross says he's no Yes man

What with hostilities having already gone up several notches this week in the AV debate, who better to drop behind enemy lines than television's favourite hard man Ross Kemp?

BBC accused of putting antiques before ambition

Shows about antiques and curios have become so commonplace on BBC television that they are making rare artifacts of the few programmes of genuine originality and ambition that remain in the daytime schedule.

What is the future for Britain’s antiques trade?

Last year, just weeks after celebrating the 75th annual Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair in June 2009, the organisers announced it was to close for good, citing declining profit, increased costs and demands on the space for closure.

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Peter Coke: Voice of radio sleuth Paul Temple

To the 1940s baby boomers – those born in the six years from 1944 to 1950 and brought up on a strict diet of the Home Service and the Light Programme on the wireless during the 1950s and the 1960s – certain radio voices will never be surpassed, or even matched. Holmes and Watson will forever be Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley; the Mayor of Toytown will be Felix Felton; Jeeves and Wooster are Richard Briers and Michael Hordern; and Paul Temple, Francis Durbridge's radio sleuth, will always be, incontestably, Peter Coke.