Arts and Entertainment Matthew Wright and Joey Essex during the Bushtucker Trial

Chat show host Matthew Wright ended up empty-handed despite forcing down a five-course meal of jungle critters and exotic animals in tonight's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!.

Historical Notes: The `lazy root' that everyone laughs at

WHENEVER PEOPLE hear that I've written a book on the potato, they smile. At first, they have trouble imagining the potato as having influenced much of anything, let alone Western social history.

Leading Article: Hail the creators, not their countries

ONCE AGAIN, as the Oscars are handed out in Los Angeles, many in this country are hailing "British" triumphs. We are delighted to see the likes of Dame Judi Dench, Tom Stoppard, Marc Norman and Stephen Warbeck collect the golden statuettes, and the plaudits of their peers. But to celebrate their triumph as a "British" success, somehow reflecting glory on the rest of us non-thespians, seems rather to miss the point. They are honoured not because they are representative of a nation, but precisely because they transcend most people's less artistic lives.

Arab is new Miss Israel

RANA RASLAN, 21, from Haifa, has become the first Arab in Israel to be crowned Miss Israel. "It doesn't matter to me if I'm Arab or Jewish, we are all human," she said afterwards.

More wardrobe than Ikea

Since 1972, the Alternative Miss World has mocked the original pageant, while celebrating the brave, the bizarre and the beautiful. It's an extravaganza of style, sex and cheap sensation. And Judith Palmer took part

Miss World is a lesson in travel (honest)

WHAT MORE fascinating introduction to the delights of global travel could there be than a Miss World pageant?

Miss World: swimsuits but no sexism

THEY SAID there would be no swimsuits. This was going to be the new, cool, post-modern Miss World. No swimsuits and stilettos! They were so yesteryear, so old beauty pageant, so sexist. And Miss World was anything but sexist. Obviously. Just listen to the show's producer: "Swimsuits on stage, now that was always really offensive. That smacked of cattle market - or even worse, some awful 1950s seaside beauty contest."

Welcome back, Miss World

How long ago it all seems, those rhetorical battles about what was meant by `beauty'

The Sketch: Hague gets a sharp lesson in trading business cards

THERE WAS a time when the question "Is the director general of the CBI a Tory?" could have been used as one of those sarcastic paraphrases for "Yes", along the lines of similar questions about the religious affiliations of the Pope or the lavatory habits of bears. But you can't rely on anything these days - bears, it seems, may be rethinking their long fidelity to al-fresco evacuation.

Muslim queen regains crown

THE ETHNIC cleansing of a beauty pageant in Croatia appears to have been reversed rather more successfully than the population movements of the 1994-1995 war in neighbouring Bosnia.

The ultimate make-over

The losers, in reverse order: feminism, political correctness and good taste. The quest to find `the world's most beautiful woman' is back on TV in a prime-time terrestrial assault

There's more to Miss America than meets the eye

EVERYBODY knows beauty pageants are about sex, but Kate Shindle, who until last night was the reigning Miss America, has given that a twist. She spent her year in office talking about safe sex, shocking some former incumbents but giving the title a radical new look that has won her plaudits across the US.

Obituary: Persis Khambatta

PERSIS KHAMBATTA, the former Miss India and international model, created cinematic history by appearing in 1979 as the first bald film heroine, in Star Trek: the Motion Picture, the hugely successful Hollywood science fiction film.

It's a whitewash


What to say when those results arrive

It's time parents and pupils examined their understanding of success and failure, reports Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer

The woman who made country & western sexy

Nashville's big noises made her change her name and sing borrowed tunes, but Shania Twain found her own route to the top.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine