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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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...