Arts and Entertainment

Le Grand Meaulnes (translated as The Lost Estate in the most recent Penguin classic) was a set text for our A level French and like The Catcher in the Rye it should be read in adolescence.

England sevens players show their colours to promote 'Safari' fancy dress theme for fans

Rugby players have often been called animals….and now they really look the part.

Man About Town: From champagne in Paris to fashion at Aintree to... champagne in London

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the alien Ford Prefect describes hyperspace travel to earthling Arthur Dent as “unpleasantly like being drunk”. When Arthur asks what’s so bad about being drunk, Ford replies: “You ask a glass of water.”

Brendon McCullum of New Zealand talks to England captain Alastair Cook following the series draw

New Zealand v England: Alastair Cook couldn't watch final overs

England held on to draw the third Test and the series

The Blagger's Guide To: Barbara Pym

Read the book, then splash on a bit of the fragrance

Forget journalism - after my debut on the West End, I'm ready for Broadway

One line may not be much, but it's enough to make the nerves set in

Katherine (left) and Helen Burch's university hijinks are the stuff of legend

I'm a sibling, get me out of here: Studying at the same university as your sibling

University is traditionally a place where you can fly the nest and assert your independence, away from the confines of family life. So what happens when you end up at the same university as your nearest and/or dearest?

It is increasingly common to see thick smog hanging over Chinese cities

Beijing is left fighting for breath as pollution goes off the scale

Sixteen of the world's 20 most polluted cities are in China. Now, after years of denials, officials admit they have a problem with smog - rather than 'fog'

Kieran Richardson's goal took the game into extra-time

Oxfam has it right, it's time for aid organisations to see Africa differently

We need to move past the stereotypical images of poverty and helplessness

After withdrawing her application to Magdalen College Elly Nowell told the university not to try to ‘reapply'

The Oxbridge delusion: why the more we talk about these two great universities, the less we know

Our writer, who graduated from Oxford two years ago, says the degree of ignorance and nonsense around Oxbridge is now harming those we ought to help

Kim Jong-Un, 'Sexiest Man Alive'. China's Communist Party newspaper, 'People's Daily', treated a spoof award by satirical US website The Onion as genuine

China's party paper falls for Onion story hailing Kim Jong Un as sexiest man alive

'World's sexiest...' polls can often turn up a surprise outside contender, so one might forgive China's state-run newspaper for not questioning a spoof report that hailed the leader of their close ally North Korea as the "Sexiest Man Alive".

Definitely NOT seen in Tunbridge Wells: The original animatronic Harry head from the film 'Harry and the Hendersons' (Universal Studios 1987) - the tale of a family being adopted by a Yeti

Bigfoot on the loose? Residents report an eight-foot hairy apeman with demonic red eyes stalking Tunbridge Wells

The peaceful countryside that surrounds upmarket Tunbridge Wells is being stalked by an 8ft ape-like beast with 'demonic' red eyes, according to local residents.

ITV forced to stop airing The Only Way Is Essex before watershed after Ofcom condemns 'adult themes and sexual references'

ITV took the decision to pull lunchtime repeats of The Only Way is Essex after Ofcom ruled that an episode broke scheduling rules put in place to protect children from unsuitable material

The Times prints cut-out Jimmy Savile Halloween mask

Too soon? Yeah, almost definitely. That's never stopped bad taste Halloween costumes before, though.

How to put on a show in your garden for Halloween

It can be quite a glum time of year in the garden– but it’s easy enough to turn it glam with a little Halloween hocus-pocus, says Emma Townshend.

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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