Tom Pellereau, winner of this summer's The Apprentice

The triumph of the nerds: Geek chic!

They're hardly classic pin-up material, so why are women falling for them?

DVD: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (12)

"Are you sure you're not rushing?" James Franco's Will is reasonably asked.

Critics of the BBC have the 'British disease', says Brian Cox

Scientist turned broadcaster Professor Brian Cox yesterday accused critics of the BBC of having "the British disease".

Last Night's TV: Beaver Falls/E4<br />The Code/BBC2

It's possible that there are viewers who tuned into Beaver Falls (E4's new comedy series about a trio of oversexed Brits doing a season at an American summer camp) in the hope that they would find a delicate comedy of manners, distinguished by its tender observation of human frailty. But if so they're the kind of people who shouldn't be left unsupervised with a box of matches. The title, with its sophomoric double entendre, surely gives fair warning of what you're going to get, and even if you ignored that red flag it wasn't very long before it was clear what we were in for. Fresh out of Oxford (Brookes, but they don't mention that on the application form), Flynn, Barry and A-Rab have plans for a perfect working vacation, looking after spoiled rich kids, and opportunistically taking a crack at any girl old enough not to provoke a queasy sense of sexual abuse in the viewer (they may not entirely have pulled this off).

Winston fumes at axing of 'Child of Our Time'

It should have been a landmark science series, which solved the nature versus nurture debate once and for all.

Uncaged Monkeys, Hammersmith Apollo, London

Dubbed "the ugliest tour in showbiz" by Dara O Briain and a gathering for "geeks" and the "disenfranchised" by host Robin Ince, Uncaged Monkeys lets loose a live version of Radio 4's comic look at science, The Infinite Monkey Cage and follows on from Ince's similar science-minded live shows Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People.

The Veteran (15)

Starring: Toby Kebbell, Adi Bielski, Brian Cox

New particle find turns physics upside-down

It is either one of the most astonishing observations in contemporary science – or an experimental artefact that will be quickly forgotten.

Sarah Sands: The first wonder of my universe is Brian Cox

The most bea-yootiful star on television is Brian Cox, who is winning every award going and every parental heart. He is a wonder of the television universe: for years, the medium has been run by highly educated people infatuated by popular culture. Cox is the reverse, a pop star who reveres education.

Astronomy: A new generation starts to reach for the stars

Telescope sales are rocketing because of Brian Cox's hit TV shows. Steve Connor on how things are looking up in amateur astronomy

Brian Cox: Stars in his eyes

The one-time member of D:Ream has proved a dream signing for the BBC &ndash; a presenter with the looks, charm and expertise to turn millions of viewers on to the joys of science

Ironclad (15)

The Magnificent Seven, in chainmail. Jonathan English's action movie takes history as its base metal – the siege of Rochester Castle by King John in 1215 – and forges it into the cold steel of Medieval derring-do. Once you get past sniggering at Paul Giamatti as John, it's a pretty enjoyable face-off between the king's mercenary army and a rag-tag band of patriots led by James Purefoy's self-denying Templar knight and Brian Cox's lusty Baron. The trimmings are standard-issue: full-throated Middle Ages cackling, gnarled peasant faces straight out of Brueghel and lots of ferocious hand-to-hand combat with pluming fountains of blood. But it's a persuasive portrayal of a violent era and its harsh privations.

Books of the Year: Novelty Christmas books

Forget the clementines: these fun volumes can fill those stockings (though they're not all winners...)

Charles Nevin: Don't worry... thank God it's Monday

If you ask me... tinsel is back as, mindful of the recession, we turn away from expensive tack to cheap tack
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform