UK museums warned over dealings with Saudi regime

Former V&A chief says contracts should be reviewed in the wake of Middle East instability

'The Inbetweeners' film in £13m record opening

The film version of TV hit The Inbetweeners has raked in more than £13 million in a matter of days - making it the biggest ever opening weekend for a UK comedy.

Smith becomes Jones as Sheridan is chosen to play Bridget on stage

Bridget Jones is returning with a vengeance. The angst-ridden and accident-prone singleton who won fame in Helen Fielding's columns in The Independent before conquering the world in a book and on screen, is about to bring her comic self-doubt and unfulfilled relationships to the West End stage.

Sheridan Smith to play Bridget Jones

Sheridan Smith is set to play the title role in a stage adaptation of Bridget Jones's Diary, the story of a young blonde woman with man trouble, which will debut in London next year.

Secrets of the Raj safe as film exposé is put on hold

Studio bosses baulk at projected £24m bill for making 'Indian Summer'

Mission of the Month: 'Ten years is the norm for possession of illegal drugs in India'

A series by diplomats from UK Embassies and the High Commissions from around the world

Amy Jenkins: Now is the autumn of our discontent

Usually, I love the autumn, but this year it seems blighted to me. And it's not just the horse chestnut trees. Have you noticed they're dying? They've got a disease called bleeding canker which is fast threatening their entire population. The Northamptonshire World Conker Championships have complained of conker shortages.

Muse, By Susan Irvine

Susan Irvine's wild and wicked novel of a young fashionista and her cross-Channel adventures in style, sex and anomie comes on hot and strong, like some bloated mutant offspring of Anaïs Nin and Bridget Jones.

Flogging a dead horse

With news that there's a third Bridget Jones film in the pipeline, Susie Mesure looks at what else may have run its course and is ready for the knacker's yard

The gaucho club: Uruguay provides good turf to saddle up and release your inner cowgirl

Fernando tacked up the horses – with sheepskin saddles. So much for the tough gaucho life. The heat of the day had started to dissipate and we were heading out from El Charabon, a 2,000-acre estancia – or ranch – in the department of Rocha, southern Uruguay. The wind was whispering through the eucalyptus and the landscape was bathed in a warm, early-evening light.

10 (more) things to blame on Bridget Jones

How Britain got into big knickers, knitted jumpers and chardonnay

Meet the Bridget Jones of Paris

The French have finally got their Bridget Jones. Joséphine, a thirty-something Parisian professional in the shadow of her brilliantly stylish (and very French) sister, is the subject of a new "bande-déssinee" (comic strip) which has just been released in France.

Julian Hall's Edinburugh Festival diary

Lord Owen captivated his Book Festival audience with vignettes from his new book In Sickness and in Power, which shows how world leaders' decisions taken over the past 100 years have been affected by their health and how their illnesses have affected world events. His take on the Shah of Iran gave the most food for thought: "Had I known, as Foreign Secretary, between 1977-79, that he had leukaemia, we could have packed him off to Switzerland, installed a Regency government and perhaps avoided problems down the line like the Ayatollah through to al-Qa'ida."

Wine: Bridget Jones syndrome

I suspect that Oz Clarke had tongue in cheek with his recent claim that chardonnay's decline was down to its association with a lovelorn Bridget Jones bolstering her lack of self-esteem with yet another glassful of the stuff. In fact, whatever influence Helen Fielding's creation may have had on chardonnay was undeniably positive, and if there's been a 3 per cent decline in sales, as claimed by the retail analysts TNS, it's more likely to do with the fact that so much of it has become over-branded and over-promoted.

Bridget Jones 'has put Britain off chardonnay'

As a singleton in her thirties, her romances almost always ended in failure. And as a worldwide publishing phenomenon, Bridget Jones has had a similarly disastrous impact on her favourite drink, chardonnay, according to one of Britain's best-selling wine writers, Oz Clarke.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

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Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

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From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

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After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

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Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

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He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

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