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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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine