Arts and Entertainment

"It is my experience of the countryside that I am trying to convey to the public"

Dom Joly: I'll selflessly go to Suriname. For my daughter's sake...

I'm just back from a whistle-stop tour of Norway. A couple of days in Oslo and then a hairy train ride to a boat that whisked me through the fjords to Bergen and then home. I've definitely got the wanderlust bad.

Ted Briggs: Last survivor of the battleship HMS 'Hood', sunk by the 'Bismarck' in 1941

Ted Briggs was the last survivor of the battle cruiser HMS Hood, sunk by the German warship Bismarck in the North Atlantic during the Second World War. The complement of "The Mighty Hood", as she was affectionately known, was 1,421. When Briggs fought his way to the surface, he could see only two other survivors – there were no other bodies on the surface.

In Shackleton's honour: Descendants' 900-mile trek

A century after explorer's failed South Pole expedition, family members are to try again. By Paul Bignell

Thousands watch eclipse in Russia

A shadow swept across Russia today, delighting skywatchers who flocked to Siberia from around the world to see a rare total eclipse of the sun.

Riches in the Arctic: the new oil race

New geological surveys show as much as a fifth of the world's undiscovered but exploitable gas and oil reserves lie under the Arctic ice. As the ice melts, the pristine wilderness could become 'the new Houston'. By Michael McCarthy

Gran who ran around the world returns home

Rosie Swale Pope has defied freezing winters, boiling summers, wolves, thieves, mad men and bereavement in an astonishing run through 12 countries.

Last-ditch bid to avert Arctic free-for-all

Denmark will today launch an effort to calm the scramble for the Arctic, bringing together the five coastal nations competing for what are believed to be the largest unclaimed reserves of oil and gas left on the planet.

Miles Kington Remembered: A geographical conundrum of continental proportions

'By the way, Richard said, 'can you guys tell me which are the most northerly, southerly, westerly and easterly of the American states?'

Solved: mystery of the disappearing lake

The sudden and dramatic disappearance of a large lake which had formed on the surface of a melting ice sheet in Greenland has been documented for the first time by scientists who estimated that its outflow was greater than that of Niagara Falls.

Sir David King: You Ask The Questions

The Chief Scientific Advisor answers your questions, such as 'Is George Bush more dangerous than Bin Laden?' and 'Is homeopathy a con?'

MFI receives offers to buy chain of furniture stores

Shares in Britain's largest furniture retailer, MFI, jumped yesterday after it said it had received several bid approaches for all or part of its 200-strong chain of stores. The shares closed nearly 8 per cent higher, up 18.75p, at 119p.

Puyol's love of labour not lost on fans

Photographs of the Barcelona captain Carles Puyol adorn the bars in the small Catalan Pyrenean town of La Pobla de Segur. Puyol is the local boy done very well and images of his unmistakeable, almost medieval looking torso confirm the adoration. Everyone claims to know "Carlito" - reverential short-hand for Barça's assiduous warrior defender - the son of the humble bread man.

Check In: Museum peace

More For Your Money: Rotherhithe, London

A quiet life on the waterfront
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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
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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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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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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'