My Weird and Wonderful Family, Channel 4<br/>My Child's Big Fat Birthday Party, BBC1

This glimpse at the home life of the Drewitt-Barlows said more about individual weirdness than gay parenting

Last Night's TV: My Weird and Wonderful Family, Channel 4<br />The Blind Me, BBC3

Children are famously inclined to give skewed accounts of their own generation, a charm often exploited by comedians. On the face of it, you'd probably file Aspen Drewitt-Barlow's account of his and his brother's genesis under the category of winsome misunderstandings. "Me and Orlando were made from the same egg," he patiently explained at the beginning of My Weird and Wonderful Family, "but the egg split and then Orlando went in the freezer for three years. Orlando is my identical twin." Not sure that can be correct, Aspen, you thought. Orlando is four years younger than you for one thing. But Aspen had got it right – this unusual family history having come about after Aspen's fathers, Tony and Barrie, had decided to postpone Orlando's birth to a more convenient date. Both boys were the result of a kind of relay-race conception, with the embryos being supplied by a biological mother and then implanted into a surrogate to be carried to term. The arrangement is tricky, borderline illegal in this country but Tony and Barrie, who'd done very well in the cosmetics business, could afford to go to California to hire the necessary uteri and wombs and also fight the resulting court case over their right to be declared the parents.

Julie Burchill: If Eamonn can't see the funny side of fatness, he should lay off the pies

I know that we were meant to don black armbands and fly the flags at half-mast when Dawn French and Lenny Henry went bang, but personally I was pleased. I've had beef (and how fitting is that word, considering how fat we both are!) with that bitch since way back in the day, when I refused to be in a 1994 South Bank Show. This was some sort of celebration of morbid obesity – sorry, a "personal celebration of Big Women, drawing on art, photography, fashion, film and sculpture to ask why Big Women, who were revered and celebrated throughout the history of art, are now ignored by today's culture."

Pandora: Dave's home affairs?

While Gordon Brown ensured events in Westminster took a fresh twist yesterday, David Cameron's domestic arrangements were also the subject of some timely title-tattle among senior Tory colleagues.

The Last Word: Politicians must dig deep to save the crown jewels

Instead of cutting grass-roots spending by 20 per cent Parliament can solve free-to-air mess by coughing up

Pandora: Knives out: Gordon's girls defend their boss

Could Gordon Ramsay's luck be changing? Ever since he was accused of liaising with "professional mistress" Sarah Symonds, the boorish chef has been dogged by a string of bad headlines, running the gamut from ready-meals to broken banking covenants.

Terence Blacker: The lesson is: don't lash out at the critics

There is a new attraction at Latitude, the London Literature Festival and other hip gatherings this summer. Eminent writers from The School of Life, the social enterprise specialising in thought and ideas set up last year by the popular author and thinker Alain de Botton will be offering literary and philosophical advice on everyday problems. As de Botton himself once put it: "The words of others can benefit us not only by giving us practical advice, but also – more subtly – by recasting our confusions and griefs into eloquent communal sentences. We feel at once less alone and less afraid."

Ferguson honoured by Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson has been named as Manchester United's greatest icon.

My Week: Mr Motivator, Fitness guru

The returning fitness guru finds his public again &ndash; and spends some quality time with the Prime Minister

My Mentor: Charlotte Hawkins on Eamonn Holmes

'He really made me think and told me not to always keep to the script'

Sport on TV: Surreal Sue, the fall of Ball and figures of fun

Today's sporting great was born on VE Day," Eamonn Holmes said at the start of his interview with Alan Ball (Sporting Greats, BBC2) on Monday afternoon. "For the last 18 years," he added, "he has been heavily involved in the roller-coaster ride that is football management."

Sport on TV; Flamboyant Fergie eclipses Ilie's odyssey

THE BBC has a great deal riding on the broad shoulders of John Inverdale, and you need only look at the colour of Desmond Lynam's hair to see why. It did not get that grey merely as the result of decades spent supporting Brighton and Hove Albion (although that, undoubtedly, has played its part), and as if to underline the point, he has even taken to wearing specs during Match of the Day.

Sport on TV: Why Will's world was not so ideal for Holmes

LIFE cannot be easy when you are Eamonn Holmes. He has made his name - such as it is - on the tackiest breakfast telly station going, where he does his best to dominate not just the guests, but also his co- presenters. And yet, when the calls come through for someone to graduate to better (or more remunerative) assignments, it always seems to be Holmes's sofa companions who move on.

SPORT ON TV: No qualms with Kwan's artistry, but the ice still left me dry

IN A WEEK when the Americans are shaping up to play the global bully again, it was fun to see them having their butts whipped on the ice in Nagano (BBC, Eurosport). CBS had paid pounds 235m for the rights to the Olympic Games, nearly as much as Brian Laudrup's pay packet at Stamford Bridge next season, but once their men's ice hockey team was knocked out, Americans indulged in their true national sport, operating the TV remote. It was during the figure skating, which was about all they had left (and about which I was slightly unkind last week) that I began to muse on ways to make the Games more spectator-friendly.
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
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The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
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voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
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Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
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Life and Style
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Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
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The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
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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
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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
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The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

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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
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
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Jack Pitt-Brooke

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