Arts and Entertainment

Comedian 'overwhelmed' by response from public

Last Night's Television - Paradox, BBC1; Cast Offs, Channel 4

Time scene investigation

So who are we?

It's a question simply too difficult to answer, says Tom Lubbock, as a fascinating new exhibition opens exploring the nature of identity.

Discussing the disabled: Readers' views

Last week, Ian Birrell wrote calling for an end to the casual use of words such as 'retard' that reveal the bigotry with which disabled people are treated. Here, readers offer their views

On the agenda: Harry Brown; Radley; Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre; Masterchef; Ctrl.Alt.Shift

You've got to ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, you should – the vigilantes are back...

Visual merchandising: 'When a new range is doing well, it is a personal achievement'

We all know the power that a well-designed shop window can hold over us; in one glance, you can be transported into a different world. Behind the glass, the season's "must-buy" products come alive through a visual story that compels you to enter the store and part with your cash.

CCTV –
the game

Forget the adage that Big Brother is watching you – an online game aims to turn the tables, letting members of the public become the watchmen.

Don't panic! Hitchhikers are back

It is a rare glimpse into the life of a man who has inspired millions of people: Douglas Adams, the creator of the phenomenally successful Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is to be celebrated this weekend – 30 years after it was created and eight years after his death.

Tony Paterson: From Big Brother ... to Foreign Minister

Coming from the man expected to become Germany's foreign minister, it was an enlightening foretaste of a new Teutonic assertiveness in international affairs: Guido Westerwelle refused to answer a question in English at his debut press conference.

Guy Adams: Big brother: a part of the American DNA

LA Notebook

Woodstock Sketch: It may be closing its doors, but 'Big Brother' is shown no mercy

In front of 200 of the most intelligent people in this part of the country, the Enterprise Centre (or the Marlborough school hall as we used to call it) in Woodstock hosted The Independent's debate on the degrading effects of reality TV. Thank you for having us.

Channel 4's CEO Andy Duncan resigns

Andy Duncan, the chief executive of Channel 4, has resigned. The decision leaves the broadcaster in danger of a crisis of leadership as Ofcom, the media watchdog, seeks to find a replacement for the Channel 4 chairman, Luke Johnson, who is also obliged to stand down in January.

My Orwellian nightmare: a future without Big Brother

In axeing their most popular series, the Channel 4 bosses have ignored their public, argues Neil Boom

Katy Guest: A follow-up to 'Big Brother'? Here's an idea

Farewell, then, Big Brother – daring social experiment turned ruthlessly efficient famous-making machine turned public flogging of mental defectives for an ostensibly 21st-century audience. Last week, Channel 4 confirmed that it will not be screening the show after next year's series comes to an end. The programme's 10-year, downhill rollercoaster ride has seen ratings drop from 10 million to two million, during which time the Elstree studios have begun to echo with the teeth-grinding screech of barrels being scraped and even Davina McCall has struggled to act enthusiastic about the visibly withering format.

A victim of its own success: why Big Brother had to be evicted

The reality show has been eclipsed by social networking – a craze it helped create, says Ian Burrell

David Prosser: A salutary lesson in TV economics

Outlook Channel Four no doubt has all sorts of cultural reasons for dropping Big Brother after a final series next summer but, as ever in television, the biggest imperative is a financial one. With hindsight, the beginning of the end for the show on mainstream telly in the UK – though note that Endemol licenses it to 66 other countries – came in 2007, when Channel Four signed a contract with the production company for three more series.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave 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
News
i100
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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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