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

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?

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.

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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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 15 May 2015
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