Arts and Entertainment

You may also worry you're not conversant enough in current design lingo to get much out of new BBC2 series The Great Interior Design Challenge. Fear not. The only vocab you needed to enjoy last night's episode was "upcycle". It's a verb meaning "to take a perfectly decent piece of furniture and ruin it by the addition of some old tat you bought at a car boot sale".

Make essays easy: 17 basic study tips for university

Now you've been thrown in at the deep end, it's time to find out how to swim...

Room Service: A literary favourite updated in Paris

Hotel Verneuil, Paris

Bites reported across London and Kent as south east sees influx of Britain's most poisonous spider

Rising temperatures are forcing false widow spiders up north

Save The Children in Syria: "Unfortunately we often see children dying; we rarely see them targeted"

The Save The Children CEO on why humanitarian aid must be allowed access to Syria

Top tweets

5 Epic Twitter Fails: Ian Katz certainly isn't alone

We’ve all sent a message to the wrong person at one point or another… but what happens when the text is a tweet, and you have millions of followers?

Harriet Walker: 'I log on to Facebook and see nothing but new houses, weddings, dogs and babies'

I had an existential crisis last week. I know I did, because my infinitely patient boyfriend pointed out that that was the problem.

Celebrity Big Brother contestant wets the bed on TV

Celebrity Big Brother 2013: Wee problem for Geordie Shore's Charlotte Crosby who wets the bed on television

If you thought that in over a decade of Big Brother and its, er glitzy counterpart Celebrity Big Brother everything that could possibly shock (bullying, sex, screechy voices, utter mind-numbing inanity) had been done several times over, think again. One housemate woke up after a boozy night to find that she’d had a little accident.

Guo Bin recuperates from an attack in the rural area of Linfen city that left him blind, in a hospital in Taiyuan

Hunt for woman who gouged out six-year-old’s eyes in China

Police offer £10,000 reward but deny motive for crime is linked to organ trafficking

How do the rich sleep at night? Very well, according to a major study of British bedtime behaviour

Lots of money is the most effective sleep remedy, new study shows

How do the rich sleep at night? Very well, according to a major study of British bedtime behaviour.

OFT investigates Carpetright and rivals over ‘misleading’ promotions

The floor-covering specialist Carpetright said it is “co-operating fully” with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) over the watchdog’s investigation into “misleading” sales practices of furniture, carpet and bed chains yesterday.

Are your parents planning on nicking your bedroom? Probably...

From walk-in wardrobes to guest bedrooms - 76 per cent of new students' parents have grand designs for their kids' rooms

The 10 Best dog beds

Whether it's for a poodle or a pointer, we've got cosy cushions and brilliant baskets to let sleeping dogs lie

Lloyd Langford

My Edinburgh: Lloyd Langford on playing Russian roulette with luck at the Fringe

Upon arriving in Edinburgh for the Fringe, my show aside, my main concern is my accommodation. For performers, finding suitable accommodation for the festival is often a mixture of trial and error, following tip-offs and plain dumb luck.

Stuart Broad is congratulated following the dismissal of Brad Haddin

The Big Six: Villas in Ibiza

From a luxury villa that offers a decked terracs overlooking the sea to a whitewashed townhouse on a quiet corner of a quiet cobbled street inside Dalt Vila...

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own