Life and Style

Feeling the effects of an over-indulgent festive season?

BBC breakfast Susanna Reid

Susanna Reid set for Strictly Come Dancing 2013

The BBC Breakfast presenter is reported to have signed for the show

Vanessa Feltz is set to compete for Strictly's glitter ball trophy

Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Vanessa Feltz first contestant confirmed for the glitter ball battle

After her very public meltdown on Celebrity Big Brother one might have thought Vanessa Feltz would have sworn off reality television shows. But the broadcaster and DJ has been unveiled as the first contestant on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing competition.

Tailor-made for all pockets: Patrick Grant meets Debenhams?

It’s a fashion love story, says Lee Holmes

Art of the matter: David Hockney

Make a splash like Hockney

The colourful artist is known for his snappy style in  the 1960s of dressing, and it’s a look that still works today. Lee Holmes leads a lesson in art appreciation

Jumper £35; shirt £25; skirt £30; boots £40; all by Dorothy Perkins; dorothyperkins.co.uk

iStyle: Midi marvellous

Forget maxi-skirts and minis, this season’s hemline has gone mid-length says Emma Akbareian

Hundreds converge on Balcombe as fracking protests continue

Protesters have vowed to continue after Caudrilla announces plans to scale back their operation

British sales at Cath Kidston rose 21 per cent in the year to March

Bags of money: Why the world just can’t get enough of Cath Kidston’s bright ideas

Covet it or cringe at the thought of it, it’s Britain’s most unstoppable brand

CORSETED BROCADE BALLGOWN WITH TRAIN, FROM GILES DEACON ARCHIVE; LACE-STYLE COURT SHOES, £1,075, BY NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD, NICHOLASKIRKWOOD.COM; WINDSOR DIAMONDS AND AMETHYST NECKLACE, EARRINGS AND BRACELET, ALL FROM A SELECTION BY ASPREY, 167 NEW BOND STREET, LONDON W1, 020-7493 6767; ENGAGEMENT RING, MODEL'S OWN; BABY'S CHRISTENING GOWN, £70, BY JOHN LEWIS, JOHNLEWIS.COM

Mother of all exclusives: The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George* pose for a fashion shoot for The Independent (*OK, lookalikes, at least)

No one was more surprised than the staunchly republican Independent when we landed the scoop of the decade – the world’s first photoshoot with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George. Take that, Kay Burley!

Investment View: Why Burberry is clicking with me as one to keep

It does business the way customers like, while other luxury brands try for a bogus exclusitivity
Current top female CEOs include Burberry's Angela Ahrendts, left, and easyjet’s Carolyn McCall, right

It’s not equality yet, but 2012 saw more women on FTSE boards

Nearly half of all first-time directors appointed at Britain’s biggest companies last year were women, offering renewed hope that the Government target of a 25 per cent female make-up of FTSE 100 boards by 2015 will be met.

Designers making their marque on the fashion scene

Although its not quite a return to the logo-laden days of old, stylised prints and artistic emblems are now selling like hot cakes, says Naomi Attwood

John Rentoul: A 'no' to shorts

Shorts: Can men in the real world ever carry off exposed knees?

Designers love them, but can we really take a man in shorts seriously? Fashion editor Alexander Fury says yes, but chief political commentator John Rentoul – a habitual suit-wearer – begs to differ

David Collins passed away surrounded by family and loved ones

David Collins, the man who put the taste into Britain’s restaurants, dies aged 58

David Collins, the interior designer whose “magic” touch changed the face of Britain’s most iconic restaurants, bars and hotels has died.

BBC Worldwide sales hit £1.16bn in a year

Selling TV hits such as the natural history series Africa and Strictly Come Dancing around the world helped the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, to boost sales by 3 per cent to £1.16 billion in the year to March.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before