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.

E.coli outbreak traced to German restaurant

German scientists are looking for clues about the source of the killer E.coli food bug in a restaurant in the northern German town of Luebeck after 17 people fell ill after eating there, a newspaper reported today.

E.coli: panic grips Germany while Britain waits nervously

Crisis 'not over yet' say health officials

Europe E.coli outbreak caused by toxic new strain

A deadly outbreak of E.coli centred in Germany and spreading across Europe is caused by a dangerous new strain, Chinese scientists who analysed the bacteria said.

Spain takes on Germany after cucumber scare cripples farm exports

Spanish farmers say the panic has cost them €200m a week, with three million kg of fruit and vegetables wasted, while the transport industry has lost €15m

Sharp rise in E.coli cases in Germany

German health officials said today there had been a dramatic increase in the number of people infected in an E.coli outbreak which has so far killed 16 and whose source is still unknown.

Deaths linked to E.coli outbreak

Two new deaths linked to a mysterious bacterial outbreak in Europe blamed on tainted vegetables were reported today, including the first outside Germany, as the number of people falling ill continued to rise.

Video: Rows over cucumber E.coli outbreak

A row's broken out over the cucumber E.coli outbreak as Andalucia's government say Germans blame Spanish cucumbers for the illness.

Cucumbers blamed for 10 deaths in Germany 'not on sale in UK'

Checks have revealed British shelves are free of the cucumbers blamed for causing one of the worst outbreaks of E. coli in mainland Europe, health officials said last night. As the outbreak in Germany became the most serious in its history, killing 10 and infecting an estimated 1,000 people, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said there was no evidence that British shops had stocked the vegetables suspected of spreading a virulent form of E. coli, hemolytic-uremic syndrome.

Hendrick's Horseless Carriage of Curiosities, Brighton Fringe Festival

In the mid-19th century, no self-respecting home was without an electric-shock machine, a state-of-the-art gadget that, it was claimed, could cure everything from poor eyesight to baldness to problems in the bedroom.

Around the world in 80 dishes No. 47: Hot smoked trout salad

Ingredients to serve 4

Minor British Institutions: Cucumber sandwiches

It's unlikely that the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who lent his name to the snack, ever went for the cucumber option. The Earl wanted something tidily substantial to refresh his efforts at the card table, not some prissy confection.

Picnic perfection: Britain's top chefs reveal their recipes for al fresco dining success

It's time to celebrate the great outdoors – but don't let a soggy sandwich blight your hamper...

Kate and Wills effect produces cucumber spike

Hard-pressed Britain celebrates The Wedding with a £500m splurge on all things patriotic

Business Diary: Hacks take battle to the skies

Fleet Street's telecoms hacks were at loggerheads yesterday but not over their scoops. Instead, the papers were battling to see who had the, erm, fastest pigeon. The broadband group Plusnet released 20 pigeons in London to race the 150 miles to its Yorkshire headquarters, with each one assigned to a journalist. The race marked the roll-out of its fibre-optic broadband – no, Diary wasn't sure of the connection either – but unfortunately The Indy's bird could only mark the occasion by limping home in eighth. Pete the Pigeon has already been put on a strict regime to turn things round in time for next year's event.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee