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".

Formal apology for 150,000 Australian women forced to give up newborn babies

Lily Arthur gave birth to her son, Tim, while shackled to a hospital bed in Brisbane. She was allowed to cradle him in her arms for five minutes – but only after signing an adoption consent form.

Emma Thompson to play Queen in new TV drama

Emma Thompson is to portray the Queen in a TV drama based on the famous Buckingham Palace burglary 30 years ago.

Five-minute memoir: Edward Docx recalls a fleeting, silent romance

I remember that we had left our backpacks at Zoo Station and that we were going to save our Deutschmarks by staying out all night. I remember, too, when at last we came into the crumbling old courtyard, that the music was extraordinarily loud – a wall of sound made out of euphoria and ecstasy, the herald of a new world order.

1. Silk cushion, John Lewis, £20

The Greatcoat, By Helen Dunmore

Dunmore's historical novels have been compared to Tolstoy. This wartime ghost story is not in that league, but it does what it says on the dust jacket

1. Gothic Chair

BOING!, Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, London

BOING!, the new Christmas show from Travelling Light and Bristol Old Vic, has a brilliant connection with its child audience. From the beginning, five-year-olds were absorbed and giggly. When the performers suggested they help catch a thrown teddy bear, whole rows stood up as one, determined to be ready.

Moment of madness: despair, shame and a sense of isolation convinced John Lonsdale his loved ones were better off without him

'I was determined to end my life'

Following our feature on understanding suicide, John Lonsdale recalls in vivid detail the day he tried to kill himself – and explains why he is thankful every day that he didn't succeed

Haunted Child, Royal Court, London (3/5)

Actors are required to do some rum things in the line of duty.

Harriet Walker: 'It was bailiffs at the door. How mortifying!'

When my doorbell rang at 6am, I was mystified – and slightly terrified – as to who could want to see me at such an early hour. As I lay in my bed, willing them to go away and listening guiltily as my more responsible flatmate got up and went down to answer it, my mind ran through the potential fizzogs on the other side of the door.

The Uncoupling, By Meg Wolitzer

How women really feel in the bedroom

Agent Provocateur: How to create the perfect bedroom

Now designing bedlinen, the saucy knicker house shows gives ten tips to planning your bedroom, by Annie Deakin

Rocking motion fosters deep sleep, study claims

If you need a nap, get a hammock. You will nod off quicker and sleep more deeply, researchers say.

Is an award the only way to guarantee an author's shelf life?

For today's authors, an award can make the difference between success and getting left at the bottom of the pile

'I didn't believe he killed Milly Dowler'

Levi Bellfield's partner did not believe he had killed schoolgirl Milly Dowler, the Old Bailey heard today.

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?