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

Brian Viner's Icons of the 20th Century; No 6: Albert Einstein

Sometime in the early Fifties, it is said, Marilyn Monroe, who had a thing for brainy men, asked to meet the brainiest of them all, Albert Einstein. The Nobel prize-winning physicist was well into his seventies by then, but he was just as impressed by a substantial cleavage as Monroe was by a substantial intellect. Apparently they got on rather well, and the comedian Arnold Brown has worked their improbable encounter into a sweetly whimsical tale, which has Einstein and Monroe returning to her hotel room after dinner and making themselves comfortable on the sofa. "Albert," says Marilyn. "Vot is it, my dear?" "I hope you don't mind me asking, but would you try to explain to me your theory of relativity?" Einstein pats Monroe's leg. "I'm terribly sorry, my dear," he says, "but I neffer go zat far on a first date."

Arts: Shooting fish in a barrel

Louis Theroux is the latest television presenter to achieve success by poking fun at Johnny Foreigner. In his second series of Weird Weekends he returns to American oddballs. But is the interviewer any less strange than his subjects?

Boxing: Beeb and the boxing boob

Alan Hubbard in Barnsley sees a showpiece on the ropes fight back

Focus: Home sweet digital home

The new 'cocooner' is no couch potato. But why go out when you can make the world come to you?

Plan to cure fear of maths at school

TEACHERS SHOULD organise desks in a U-shape and sing Five Little Speckled Frogs with their five-year-olds, according to new government guidelines on how to teach maths.

Blair picks Vorderman to head maths campaign

CAROL VORDERMAN, Britain's highest paid female television presenter, has been personally recruited by the Prime Minister to spearhead a campaign to raise standards in maths.

Stars in their minds

They don't fix their Barry Manilows up with false noses. They won't let men do Shirley Bassey. And don't even dream that they'll let you be a Black-and-White Minstrel. Welcome to Stars in Their Eyes, the weirdest show on television

`Countdown' is faked, says Parris

MATTHEW PARRIS, the man who "outed" Peter Mandelson, has exposed another beloved national institution, the cult Channel 4 show Countdown.

Property: Can Carol Vorderman really help you sell your home?

As the TV schedules fill up with property programming, Ginetta Vedrickis looks at the makeover phenomenon

On Location: Pub closed? Try the minicab office

ONE OF the marvellous things about alcohol is that it lands you in the strangest circumstances, which you accept as perfectly normal at the time. Until the next morning, when you think, "How did we end up in a bowling alley with that horse?"

The Joys of Modern Life; 22. `Countdown'

THE REWARDS of working from home are many, but the biggest must be the pleasure of not working from home.

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL '98: And not a glimpse of Carol Vorderman...

COMEDY: RICHARD WHITELEY PLEASANCE

Media: How Martin joined the ranks of the rich and famous

Martin Bashir has made his name interviewing celebrities, now he's one in his own right.

Mensa fails the sexism test

The society for big brains has just ousted its first female chairperson . Does it have enough basic common sense to thrive in the egalitarian Nineties?

God of footie floods BBC with fan mail

BRITAIN is in the grip of a cult. A fever is sweeping the nation and a twinkle-eyed, moustachioed TV presenter is to blame. For Des-mania has hit Britain.
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game