Arts and Entertainment David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh in Monday's episode

Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh was only meant to work on Coronation Street for two months. Her character was intended as little more than a gimmick to help the Manchester-based soap opera compete in the ratings battle with then-dominant EastEnders. Fifteen years later, her character’s story has finally come to a close, and with it, one of soap’s most enduring and touching romances: that of oddball Roy and his kind-hearted wife, Hayley.

The player who set the tone yesterday was another fresh native talent, Callum McManaman

From shocking foul to diamond for Callum McManaman

Was this shock bigger than Wimbledon in 1988? Was it the biggest since Sunderland in 1973? These were the questions being asked here last night, but it was another FA Cup final that came to mind while watching Callum McManaman tear Manchester City apart.

Professor Lawrence Krauss, the atheist academic at the centre of the row

UCL bans Islamic group after segregation row

A London university has banned an Islamic organisation from its campus, after it attempted to segregate an audience at one of its debates by gender.

I’m a gay man and I wasn’t convinced by equal marriage either. Now I am.

It's taken me a while to convince myself of the arguments for marriage, but as MPs vote today on historic proposals to legalise gay marriage, I'm more convinced than ever

Bring back the goodness: Alain de Botton's 10 commandments for atheists

Believe in God? If that's a yes, this probably isn't for you.

Pillow talk: Alain de Botton wants a new type of online porn

10 new virtues for atheists: Alain de Botton unveils new manifesto

Writer Alain de Botton has created a set of 10 new virtues for atheists.

US Boy Scouts ready to drop ban on gay members and leaders

The US Scout movement is signalling its readiness to end a ban on gay members and leaders after a wave of protest.

A Guide to the future of feminism

When I first heard that Julie Bentley had called the Guides "the ultimate feminist organisation", I thought steady on. Then I realised how true this is

'Nun' sentenced over envelopes containing white powder that were sent to Nick Clegg

A pensioner claiming to be a Catholic nun who sent envelopes containing white powder to parliamentary figures including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was given a community order today.

My christening dilemma: I'm gay and an atheist, should I be a godparent?

Being an atheist godfather would be like a vegetarian who eats fish.

George Pratt's faith in atheism: Scouts must Promise to Obey - and if they don't, they're out

The Scouts’ exclusion of atheist children is not a demand for faith, it is a demand for unquestioning obedience.

Damned by Despair, Olivier, National Theatre, London

Spare a thought for poor Bertie Carvel. One minute, he's a camp brute of a headmistress swinging schoolgirls round by the plaits in the rip-roaring hit of Matilda. The next, he's being brutish – and strangely camp – all over again, this time, though, as a murderous Neapolitan thug in Damned by Despair, a venture that looks set to go down in history as one of the National Theatre's rare turkeys.

Howard Jacobson: Pushing, shoving, mawkish singing – my unmissable day out at the Jubilee pageant

Parents conjured children from their pockets and hoisted them onto their shoulders

62% of the population never attend any form of religious service

Fact File: Secular Britain

In the beginning, there was Bideford. In February 2012 the High Court ruled council meeting prayers in the Devon town unlawful, and reignited a row about encroaching secularisation that’s been rumbling in the background of British public life for over a century.

What to say to save a life

Convincing someone not to jump is a job for only the most skilled negotiators. Emily Jupp finds out how they do it

How to save a life

Convincing someone not to jump is a job for only the most skilled negotiators. Emily Jupp finds out how they do it

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
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Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
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The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?