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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform