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.

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.

Amy Jenkins: Sugar is a mum's drug of choice

I have always thought sugar was a drug. But people look at me funny when I say it. Now David Kessler, the doctor famous for his battles with the US tobacco industry, has brought out a book saying just that. His theory is that there is a certain combination of sugar, salt and fat that is pretty much impossible to stop eating once you've started.

Leading article: Through the camera

An awful thought occurs to us, with the news that Big Brother's days are numbered. Has the all-seeing eye finally completed its transfer from the virtual television world to reality? Are we now so used to being watched for real as we go about our daily lives among the CCTV cameras that watching others being watched has lost its novelty? Do we look from the virtual to the real and back again and find ourselves unable to tell the difference?

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas