The Big Six: from outdoor Jacuzzis and inky interiors to views of the Eiffel Tower

Modern pursuit where triviality is the name of the game at board

David Lister meets the man who sets the questions for a cult quiz

private life: the children's story; I am a raindrop

What would you do if your mother was a cloud and your father was the sky? Well, that is exactly what happened to me. I was born in a cloud and soon I had to drop. When I did I had a terrific view. I saw aeroplanes, I saw millions of birds, I was even lucky enough to see the Eiffel Tower!

Dear Red Arrows

The RAF's aerobatic display team are under threat from defence cuts. Disgraceful! We should preserve them at all costs, classified under the category: 'nice but useless'


Why is the Eiffel Tower like the Forth Bridge? Both are miracles of civil engineering built in 1889. Why is the Forth Bridge not like the Eiffel Tower? They've stopped repainting the Forth Bridge. Jonathan Glancey reports.

One in the eye for Lord St John

The Millennium Wheel will provide what London conspicuously lacks, a good vantage point from which to survey the city. In my view, its size is a virtue

Can this really be London?

Jaded urbanites can see their city through new eyes

Eiffel Tower looks down coldly on Le Pen bandwagon

The leader of France's extreme right-wing National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, whose party is embroiled in a new controversy over racial violence, yesterday launched his campaign to win the country's presidency from beneath the giant struts of the Eiffel Tower.

For 2000, let's repair our lovely land

Artworks, monuments, grand designs ... Our gift to the next millennium sh ould be something greater and yet more modest than these, argues Jonathan Glanc ey Perhaps, unlike the French or Italians, we simply lack a sense of the monumenta l We might begin by clearing our rivers and restocking them with fish

The Broader Picture: For the lack of some paint

THESE photographs of the Forth Bridge, which were taken a fortnight ago, demonstrate one certainty and one possibility. The certainty is that the various heirs and successors of British Railways are very short of cash. The possibility is that this lack of cash is shortening the life of the most famous steel structure in Britain and arguably (always remembering the Eiffel Tower) in the world.

Out of Japan: Tales of life from room with a crowded view

TOKYO - Directly opposite the window of my flat is a three-storey apartment building. I can also see a few trees, an elevated expressway, Tokyo's imitation of the Eiffel Tower, and a Zen temple - all nestled in a mosaic of roofs.

ART / Making molehills out of mountains: 'A largely incoherent jumble of insensitively hung pictures': Andrew Graham-Dixon on 'Monet to Matisse' at the National Gallery of Scotland

Richard Thomson, who has conceived and organised 'Monet to Matisse' for the National Gallery of Scotland, declares in the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition that 'landscape painting is a cultural receptacle constantly remoulded to accommodate external values'. Quite what he means by this is unclear - it may simply be an inelegant way of repeating the truism that changes in art reflect changes in society - but Thomson's definition of paintings as receptacles seems involuntarily revealing. That is certainly how they have been treated in this exhibition - receptacles, for the most part, for his own theories about them.

Out of Russia: Full shelves let Russians learn the art of window-shopping

MOSCOW - The face of this city is changing so fast these days that if you leave town for a short break, you hardly recognise the city when you return. The Kremlin remains but it seems the streets are forever being renamed and now they are getting a new look too.

Rockabilly kid plus Honey-bunny: Susan De Muth in bed with Oliver

Oliver, 12, is the singer and double bass player in Animal Jack Senior, a rockabilly band. The other members are his father, Andy Brindley, and sister, Joelle, 13, though not his mother, Fernanda. The family live in Pembrokeshire.

Architecture: Mechanical power and the glory: Jonathan Glancey looks back at the crucible of Modern design in the shadow of the Eiffel tower

Even the most assiduous rivet counter would have been exhausted by Ferdinand Dutert's Palais des Machines. This heroic building stood for 20 years, from 1889 to 1909, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. It boasted no fewer than 640,000 rivets punched into 20 massive steel trusses. It was one of the largest buildings of its, and any other, day and hugely influential.
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'