Arts and Entertainment Countdown's Rachely Riley takes to the dance floor with partner Pasha Kovalev

The Countdown and Strictly star married her husband last August

Alan Carr celebrates 'civil ceremony made in heaven' with £3m C4 deal

Alan Carr has signed an exclusive deal with Channel 4 that is thought to be worth nearly £3m over two years, after the broadcaster fought off feverish interest from the BBC and ITV.

Simon Carr: No point pretending Oxbridge isn't best

The obsession with Oxbridge is "mad", a "middle-class obsession". So says one of the luminaries of the Russell Group. Maybe he's trying to detoxify the reputation of these two institutions; to reduce the general level of envy, resentment and hostility towards them.

Conundrum for 'Countdown' as Vorderman quits after 26 years

Carol Vorderman announced last night she is to step down from Countdown, after 26 years as a presenter on the Channel 4 programme.

Mark Steel: How dare these soldiers go round getting wounded?

Of all the shady reasons for supporting the war in Iraq, the weakest was always how it was our duty to "Support our boys," as they couldn't do their job if people back home were critical. To start with, this doesn't seem logical. Is there any evidence that tank commanders were about to fire off a volley of missiles, but then hesitated saying "Ooh I'm not sure I can go through with it because there was this sniffy letter in The Independent"?

Arctic Monkeys: Too much monkey business

The UK's latest indie superstars have lost a bassist at a crucial time. David Sinclair on the stresses of the music machine

Lynam slips into Whiteley's shoes but not his wardrobe

Countdown, Channel 4

Idle matinees

A Week in Books

Hero or zero? Carol marks down Will

Nursery rat race spawns work books for infants

PARENTS OF three-year-olds are snapping up workbooks to prepare children for school and for government testing at the age of five.

Leading Article: Call the Prime Minister's bluff over the new politics, Mr Kennedy

THERE IS one test above all against which this week's speech by the new leader of the Liberal Democrats should be judged: will Charles Kennedy call the Prime Minister's bluff on New Labour's commitment to a new way of doing politics?

Your Money: On the trail of that old cash stash

You don't need to be Carol Vorderman to track down the whereabouts of long-forgotten savings accounts

Lists: thank your lucky stars if you're not on one

Suddenly everything, no matter how trivial or private, must be marked or given a percentage

Cricket: Thin red line between game and gameshow

Stephen Brenkley tunes in as a new episode in cricket coverage has its screen test
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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
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering