Life and Style Fatale attraction: Brigitte Bardot in her youth

As yet another book lauds women across the Channel, Gillian Orr looks at the truth behind Madame Parfaite: extreme dieting and fear of a pressured, fattist society

Shane Meadows: All you need to make a movie...

Shane Meadows' new guerrilla project is more than just a movie. James Mottram reports on how the daring director's new Five Days Features manifesto could change the face of film

The Complete Guide To: European theme parks

From Disney to Asterix, Lego bricks to water slides, these vast playgrounds are likely to be firm favourites with families – and a visit needn't break the bank

Questions of cash: Endowment policy payout falls short of standards

Q. Our 25-year endowment policy with Norwich Union (NU) matured in March. For most of the term, the final payment was predicted at £36,750. A year ago, NU advised of a possible shortfall of £1,250. The actual payment is £2,895 below the target amount. No information was provided about how the maturity proceeds were calculated – not even the amount of the final bonus was revealed. We complained to NU about this. It replied that the policy was sold through our financial advisers and questions and complaints should be directed to them. But our complaint was not about advice, it was about performance and NU's failure to explain how the maturity value was calculated. DW, London.

Lift-off for first British astronaut

It was a case of "ground control to Major Tim – where are you?" yesterday as Britain's first official astronaut missed his train back from Paris after the announcement that he was one of the six European astronauts with the right stuff to join the next generation to fly in space.

Man found clinging to Eurostar train

A suspected illegal immigrant was arrested after being found on the outside of a Eurostar train – which had been travelling through Kent at 186mph.

Travel by numbers: the Channel Tunnel

As normal service is resumed on Eurostar following last year’s Tunnel fire, Ben Ross does the maths on Britain’s rail link with the Continent

Leading article: Horse sense

Public art has long been a rather weak point in Britain, when we compare ourselves with many of our Continental neighbours. We have often been too timid, too parsimonious, too protective of the status quo to countenance an interloper, even one that might delight the eye and enhance the landscape. So we welcome the commission awarded to Mark Wallinger for a giant horse sculpture in Kent.

'Angel of the South' to be giant white horse

A giant white horse was announced today as a new £2 million public art commission in south-east England dubbed the "Angel of the South".

Don't panic! We can go skiing and save the planet

Natalie Holmes explains how to visit the Alps and stay green

Strike brings more misery to Eurostar

Eurostar services to and from Brussels and Lille will be cancelled today because of a strike by Belgian workers.

Eurostar train halted in Channel Tunnel

A passenger train from London to Paris was halted briefly in the undersea Channel Tunnel linking England and France because of a technical problem with the train, operator Eurostar said today.

<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & texts, 14 September 2008

Jonathan Neale ("Lifestyle choices won't win the battle against global warming", 7 September) makes some important points about the need to build a mass movement to force governments to take action on climate change. However, his suggestion of banning flights within Europe and allowing each of us one (presumably long-haul) flight a year elsewhere, while a welcome first step, doesn't go nearly far enough to address the ever-growing problem of aviation emissions (which constitute 13 per cent of the UK's contribution to climate change).

Blaze may disrupt Eurostar services for several months

Cross-channel services could be disrupted for several months because damage to the Channel Tunnel in Thursday's blaze was more serious than originally thought, French officials said yesterday.

Somers Town (12A)

There's glee and romance in a tale of two teenage boys on the loose near St Pancras

How marketing is taking over the film industry

Eurostar has financed Shane Meadows's latest film. Is nothing sacred? Kaleem Aftab is outraged at the way marketing is taking over
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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'