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The acclaimed artist said he told London Mayor Boris Johnson to solve the city's housing crisis

Turner Prize exhibition unveiled

A whale's skull, a heap of dust made up of the remains of a jet engine and a workman's naked backside are among the artworks featuring in a display by this year's shortlisted Turner Prize artists.

Arifa Akbar: Rock 'n' roll writers catch festival fever

The Week In Books

Parties: Grayson Perry zigs and Bill Nighy zags at Tate Britain's summer party

Guests ummed and ahhed as they wound themselves around Eva Rothschild's giant, room-encompassing zig-zag of a sculpture that was the centrepiece for Tate Britain's summer party on Monday.

Parties: Beth burns up the art world

Nicky Haslam says Beth Ditto isn't beautiful, just fat. "Parties" wouldn't dream of wading into such a spat, but we can report that the Gossip girl was operating on Gas Mark 8 at the Royal Academy of Arts' summer exhibition party last week, first to shimmy up the blue carpet and last to leave, belting out her songs on a specially erected stage as the well-refreshed throng tripped into the night.

Observations: Come to the butterfly ball

What do Kate Winslet, Ricky Gervais and Tony Blair have in common? Aside from a propensity for making embarrassing speeches, that is. The answer, unexpectedly, lies with butterflies.

Parties: Tsars in their eyes

One might have been forgiven for thinking there was a dandruff epidemic among guests at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Tuesday night, but in fact the white flakes speckling the immaculate shoulders of Prince Michael of Kent and the Conran clan were the work of an artificial snow machine at the gallery entrance, creating a suitably Muscovite setting for London's latest blockbuster exhibition, The Magnificence of the Tsars.

Fabric of life: Selvedge magazine celebrates its fifth birthday

Is it possible to produce a magazine about textiles that is hip and authoritative? Well, yes!

Forward Book of Poetry 2009

Every year the Forward anthology, drawn from poems shortlisted or highly commended for its prizes, supplies a face-saving one-stop catch-up for readers who feel they ought to read more current poetry, but ... The judges, chaired this year by Frieda Hughes, reliably deliver on two fronts. They present strong new work from the names you should know: respect to (among others) Mick Imlah, Sujata Bhatt, Jamie McKendrick, Mimi Khalvati. And Ciaran Carson – Nina Ricci owes him a generous tribute for "L'Air du Temps" from his future-classic narrative, For All We Know. The volume also opens doors to discovery. My month is brighter thanks to Tim Turnbull's "Ode on a Grayson Perry Urn". Would Keats have approved this pimping of his Grecian ride to "the joyful throb of UK garage or/ Of house imported from the continent"? You bet.

Spot the masterpiece?

So you think you know your art – but can you tell your £15,000 Peter Doig from your £40 student artist? Arifa Akbar reveals all

What's the meaning of life? Enrol at the School of Life and you might find the answer...

Want to know how to love? Or find a better job? There's a new one-stop philosophical shop which claims it can help. Here, its founder and star 'teachers' offer free lessons in answering some of life's Big Questions

Pandora: Fire hydrants out for the lads

September will bring publication of Nice Tits, by Tony Davidson, the advertising guru at Wieden+Kennedy (responsible for Levi's "Flat Eric"). The book appears to be an ornithology tome, featuring as it does two blue tits on the cover. Not so.

Grayson Perry turns curator for new British culture show

Let's hear it for the quiet man, says Tom Lubbock, as artist-potter-transvestite Perry enbarks on a new venture

Unpopular Culture, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

A land of loners, misfits and Mrs Thatcher: Grayson Perry curates a vision of Britain which is bleak – until he dons a headscarf

Odd Young Things: Britain's latest style tribe

It is hard to think of anyone in British public life less connected to glamour and style than Bill Oddie. But this has not prevented the corduroy-clad ornithologist's daughter from being declared a fashion icon by one of the country's leading society publications.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living