News Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans leaves Preston Crown Court after his pre-trial hearing to face charges of sexual assault on January 24, 2014 in Preston, Lancashire.

The Conservative MP resigned as Commons deputy speaker after he was charged in September

Why don't we legalise doping?

Tales From The Water Cooler: Athletes are prone to do whatever it takes to win, and who can blame them?

Broadcaster Terry Christian faces ban from watching his son play football after ranting about 17 year-old referee on Twitter

Queensgate Junior Wasps have apologised for Christian's comments accusing the 17 year-old official of cheating and being 'unashamedly biased'

Fine, boycott the Bard – but if BP doesn't pay for the arts, who will?

If oil be the fuel for us, drill on? (sorry, Shakespeare); Why the arts minister's Playstation should be confiscated and Martha Wainwright retreads the family warpath

Heart of the matter: James Meek

The Heart Broke In, By James Meek

An accomplished novel changes gears from detached satire to complex meditation on death

Scrabble: In Malaysia players compete for a top prize worth $10,000

Scrabble player thrown out of US national championship tournament for cheating

A Scrabble player has been thrown out of the US national championship tournament after being caught hiding blank letter tiles.

The return of football: Instead of the thrilling speed and intelligent comments of Bradley Wiggins, we will have John Terry

The Emperor's New Clothes (12/08/12)

What could thrill us more now than the start of a new football season? Just about anything...

Tom Stalker wants to steer clear of the rows that are tainting the boxing industry

Boxing: Team GB's Tom Stalker focuses on medal success amid rows

Tom Stalker is hoping to give a flawless performance in tonight's match so that he can avoid getting embroiled in the rows that are dogging boxing at the moment.

Olympic tie-ins: We've come a long way since shin-kicking

These books are full of social history and extraordinary life stories, as well as arcane trivia, Simon Redfern stays the course

DVD/Blu-ray: The Players (18)

Jean Dujardin is markedly less charming than his silent-movie star in The Artist in these seven crass short films about male infidelity.

Last Night's Viewing: Bert and Dickie, BBC1
A History of Art in Three Colours, BBC4

They must have been tempted to call it Rowlocks of Fire surely? True, Bert and Dickie has an alluringly salacious note to it – as if it might be rhyming slang for a rushed act of sexual congress – but it was clear from the very beginning that the inspiration for William Ivory's Olympic drama lay in Hugh Hudson's 1981 film about the runners Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams. Like Chariots of Fire, it had English class snobbery, the notional charms of British amateurism and a rousing moment of patriotic triumph to finish with. Unlike Chariots of Fire, there was no God and the field of battle was a stretch of the Thames near Henley.

Katy Guest: Rings signal messages, not all of them good

"Never trust a man who wears a pinkie ring," my best friend's mum used to tell us when we were at school. We didn't know many men who wore pinkie rings at our bog-standard comprehensive, but later, at Cambridge University, I got her gist: most often they seem to be worn by toffs to show that they come from a long line of toffs, and as such come across as rather arrogant. I don't believe, therefore, that David Cameron's refusal to wear a wedding ring, watch or any other sort of jewellery is a symbol of his poshness, as some people have been saying. But I don't appreciate a married man who refuses to wear a wedding ring any more than one with a giant gold signet ring on his little finger.

DVD: 50/50 (15)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's slightly anal 27-year-old Adam is diagnosed with a "malignant tumour" in his spine in Jonathan Levine's mildly subversive "cancer comedy".

Experience the weird world of Edwardian-themed football speed-dating

 My fingers were achingly sore and my head was spinning. I still had a sticky label stuck to me that read Lady Audley, and the phrase ‘goal-mate’ was echoing in my ears. There was a stick on moustache stuck to my handbag, and I had spent all night avoiding penalties and red cards. I had been speed dating.

Harry Redknapp: 'I write like a two-year-old'

Harry Redknapp takes to the stand over tax charges

Football boss Harry Redknapp told a jury today: "I have always paid my taxes."

Ronald Searle

Ronald Searle, creator of St Trinians, dies at 91

The man who gave the world St Trinian's and St Custard's, who depicted the anarchy that lay beneath the English school system, and whose satirical pen skewered a throng of national stereotypes is no more.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own