Arts and Entertainment Brace yourself: Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves in 'House of Fools'

Vic and Bob have done sketch shows (The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer), web series (Vic & Bob’s Afternoon Delights), comedy dramas (Catterick, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)) and the greatest quiz show of all time (Shooting Stars), but until now they’ve never done a sitcom as sit-commy as this. Their new show, House of Fools (BBC2), is filmed in front of a live studio audience, and the duo play Odd Couple-style flatmates in a home filled with bizarre bric-à-brac and beset by unwelcome visitors.

Imports account for about 40 per cent of Britain’s total food consumption

Eat home-grown to boost Fruit and Veg UK Plc, says Owen Paterson

Environment minister laments quantity of food imports and urges shoppers to buy British but UK farming needs long-term investment

Natalie Coleman: The 'MasterChef' winner on pigeons at dawn, animal rights and why celery is the devil's food

'MasterChef' is not a competition; it's an obsession It took over my life [earlier this year Coleman became the third woman to win the competition]. I'd wake up in the night with Gregg Wallace in my dreams, then I'd sit up and worry about what I'd cook next. So I'd be up at 5am, cooking and eating pigeon, celeriac and lentils. I'm a bit geeky and obsessive with anything I get into.

How much wasabi should I put on my sushi?

I'm a little surprised that the question presumes that there is a correct way of eating sushi.

Madonna

Page 3 Profile: Madonna, singer

Who’s that girl?

Russell T Davies will pen three new series for Channel 4, E4 and online

Russell T Davies asked to write two new dramas about gay life for Channel 4

The Doctor Who producer's new work will follow hit series Queer As Folk

Postcard from... Beijing

Mini lamb burgers

Makes 10

36 cucumbers have been found around the Hampstead Garden Suburb area

Vegetable crime wave: It’s the phantom cucumber dropper of old London Town

The Government may be celebrating a recent drop in crime numbers but it clearly hadn’t accounted for the vegetable crime wave that’s sweeping the nation.

Cucumber and lovage soup with crispy haloumi

Cucumber and lovage soup with crispy haloumi

Serves 4

Fred Perry did things very differently to Andy Murray

Turl Street Kitchen, 16-17 Turl Street Oxford

At a scrubbed wooden table, a dapper, Rumpole-ish gentleman is taking lunch, in immaculate suit and wide red braces. Behind him, also eating alone, is a troll in human form – a small, wild-haired oldster wearing a plunging singlet and very short shorts, his abundantly furry chest and shoulders on proud display. Both of these unlikely fellow diners look perfectly at home.

Carmen Sheridan mixes summer punches at The Lido Cafe, Brockwell Lido, London

Packing a punch: The fruity drink is fun to make and perfect for sipping outside this summer

The blend of fruits, herbs, botanicals and booze is almost like cooking. Just with drinks instead of food, says Angela Clutton.

It's a fruit - not a veg

Millions of Britons can't distinguish between common fruit and vegetables - and some are trickier than you think.

Only 51 per cent think a tomato is a fruit, while 99 per cent incorrectly identify peas in a pod as veg.

The 10 Best burgers

It may not be a barbecue summer as yet - but who needs an excuse to tuck into a juicy patty? Try one of these for size.

Tim Key: 'I used to love cricket with my dad – he was an adult so he could hit the ball for miles'

We saw that it was summer and so we hired a car and drove to Sussex to watch a cricket match and eat a picnic. There were four of us. Me and CDG and two hags that CDG associates with. By 'hags' I only mean that these two young ladies both own cats, or look like they do, and they regularly cackle at me for no reason. They can't cast spells and probably aren't old enough to be proper hags but I call them it anyway and I believe that they enjoy it. Well, they came too. Me and CDG picked them up on the A205.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick