Sport Andy Thomson

They haven’t tried to “sex up” bowls to appeal to a wider audience: no semi-naked girls cartwheeling down the rink, no hellish bursts of naked flame, no garish wigs – well, there are probably a few hairpieces as the crowd is largely of a certain age. (The men are generally happy with their bald lot, though, so the seats at the World Indoor Championships at Potters in Norfolk actually look like they are being occupied by rows of shiny pink bowling balls.) The organisers wouldn’t want to make the spectacle too exciting, would they? When it comes to tie-breaks there are no references to sudden death.

1 January 2014: Google Doodle celebrates the New Year with animation of numbers dancing as 2013 is relegated to a dark corner

Happy New Year: Google rings in 2014 with animated Doodle

Search giant rings in the New Year with dancing cartoon of numbers

Andy McSmith's Diary: Nadine gives ‘the scum’ something  to get their teeth into...

It can be said without fear of contradiction that the Sunday Mirror is not Nadine Dorries’ favourite read. Last week, a Sunday Mirror hack approached the Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire to ask why she pays her daughter £35,000 a year from her MP’s expenses to work for her when her daughter has a Cotswold home 96 miles from London and 89 miles from Bedfordshire.

The five remaining members of Monty Python are expected to announce a comeback on Thursday

Monty Python team show, old surrealists never die like... they just make comebacks

Next to today’s sketch troupes, Python is not looking so strange

Nick Boles, Planning Minister: 'We need to redefine ourselves'

Tories need to connect with liberal youth or risk being reduced to rump party in rural England, warns Nick Boles

Planning minister also floats the idea of reviving the National Liberal Party

Coachella Valley High School, where the football team is known as

California high school criticised for using Arab stereotypes

A high school in California has been criticised for using what some say are damaging stereotypes of Arabs.

Jessica Raine as Beatie and Linda Bassett as Mrs Bryant in Roots

Theatre review: Roots - 'A meticulous and beautifully acted revival'

Roots, the central work in Arnold Wesker's 1950s trilogy, refuses to be rushed and keeps you waiting two and half hours for a turning-point. But the cumulative power of the piece is quietly devastating, as is decisively demonstrated now by this loving, meticulous and beautifully acted revival by James Macdonald. Written in the Norfolk dialect, the play tells the story of a young woman, Beatie Bryant, who returns to her glum family of farm labourers and tries to groom them for the impending visit of her “intellectual” London boyfriend Ronnie (the East End Jewish poet of Chicken Soup With Barley). She browbeats them with Ronnie's thoughts about art and politics by repeating them parrot-fashion and only finds her own voice in a climactic surge after a calamity the  audience may have started to anticipate.

Making waves: Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson: 'I never really felt like pushing boundaries'

The 38-year-old Hawaiian says he would rather surf than be in the studio

JK Rowling: the top storyteller of her generation will appear, like a seraph descended from heaven, to meet her public

Book review: The Cuckoo's Calling, By Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowling)

Whodunit? Now we all know, but enjoy the intrigue on its own terms

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joan Iyiola in A Season in the Congo

Theatre review: A Season in the Congo, Young Vic, London

It's six years since we last saw him on stage giving an award-winning portrayal of Othello at the Donmar Warehouse. Now Chiwetel Ejiofor is back and in magnificent form as Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the newly independent Congo, in Joe Wright's production of this 1966 play by Aime Cesaire about the fraught political struggles that led to Lumumba's CIA-endorsed assassination after barely seven months of power. 

Apprentice 2013 finalist Luisa Zissman

Apprentice 2013: The candidates that couldn't resist caricature...

Decision time is fast approaching for Sir Alan Sugar who decides which eager business person will become his new partner in The Apprentice final airing tonight.

Heard the one about the Orthodox Jewish woman suing Lancôme over fading Sabbath make-up?

There’s a fine line between curiosity and contempt; between offering people the opportunity to learn about a different culture and asking them to laugh about it.

Fiction and fact: According to historian Susan Bordo, Natalie Dormer's portrayal of Anne in The Tudors came closest to the real Boleyn girl

'Anne Boleyn was no soap seductress,' says US academic Susan Bordo

American historian urges a rethink on David Starkey and Hilary Mantel portrayals

The Wright Way: Clive Beeches (LUKE GELL), Gerald Wright (DAVID HAIG), Malika Maha (MINA ANWAR), Bernard Stanning (TOBY LONGWORTH)

TV review - Ben Elton's The Wright Way (BBC1) is groan-inducing

 The Great British Sewing Bee, BBC2

Sign of the chimes: Portsmouth supporters are about to follow other European fan groups who own their clubs

The Last Word: Margaret Thatcher treated them all as a disease. Now football fans are the cure

What has happened at Portsmouth must become the model for club ownership – supporters rule

Ubu Roi, Barbican, London

Theatre review: Ubu Roi, Barbican, London

This play by the 23 year old Alfred Jarry caused a sensation when it was premiered in Paris in 1896. A somewhat hysterical W B Yeats subsequently asked “what more is possible? After us, the Savage God”.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent