News Kate Moss' long-awaited Playboy 60th Anniversary cover was unveiled online today

The British supermodel posed as the cover star for the men’s magazine’s 60th anniversary issue

Home And Away: 'The trouble with visitors' books? Negative remarks are there for posterity'

A couple of months ago, Jane and I finally got round to putting visitors' books in our two holiday cottages, inviting "comments and suggestions". For six years, we had resisted, not least because, on perusing a few visitors' books down the years, we have ourselves recoiled slightly. The most disconcerting comment of all was at Cliveden, the swish country-house hotel, where we stayed in a suitably fancy room for one night about 15 years ago. "Great rumpy-pumpy in the Canadian hot tub" our immediate predecessors had written, which not only put us right off the Canadian hot tub, but also took the edge off climbing into the vast four-poster, knowing that the last people in it were the sort of folk who say "rumpy-pumpy".

The 5-minute Interview: Olivia Lichtenstein, Director and novelist

'I swam in Hugh Hefner's pool when I was dating a Chippendale'

Will Elder: Comic-book artist who drew for 'Mad' magazine and co-created 'Little Annie Fanny' for 'Playboy'

The American satirist and comic-book artist Will (at times Bill) Elder was one of the last surviving denizens of the Crypt of Terror – sometimes the Vault of Horror, on occasion the Haunt of Fear – in other words the downtown New York editorial offices of EC Comics, unequivocally the finest and most influential (as well as the most notorious) producer of comic books in the 20th century.

John Phillip Law: Actor best known for 'Barbarella'

An imposingly tall, blond actor, John Phillip Law made his strongest impression on screen in the outlandish science-fiction fantasy Barbarella (1968), playing the handsome blind angel who travels with the space-age heroine (Jane Fonda) through vast galaxies to find the panacea that will enable him to fly again. Despite notable roles in several other films, he never quite broke through as a major star, and spent many years starring in Italian-made action films and straight-to-video fare.

James Lawton: Scholes enjoys his red-letter day as Gerrard is ruthlessly eclipsed

England's Steve McClaren has already been rejected once by Paul Scholes, who for several weeks now has been conducting a master-class in the art and the vision required to play in midfield as a consistent match-winning presence rather than an occasional virtuoso contributor. McClaren apparently took up a mildly beseeching posture while making his first request. Now he should go all the way. He should get down on his hands and knees.

Obituary: Allan Carr

THE PRODUCER of the screen musical Grease and the Tony Award-winning stage musical La Cage Aux Folles, Allan Carr was a colourful Broadway and Hollywood figure whose flamboyantly gay life style and wild parties were as noteworthy as his many show-business activities.

The Hefner roadshow, live and unstapled

`The Bunny is Back' was written all over her chest and his face. The chest is Heather Kozar's, Playboy Playmate of the Year. The face is Hugh Hefner's, still leering after all these years.

The Irritations of Modern Life: 38. Lavatory attendants

BUNNY GIRLS at Hugh Hefner's Playboy mansion notoriously visited the bathroom in pairs. For me, at school, lavatory cubicles were places to hide out with mates, the fashion being to squeeze in as many as possible, like students in a Mini.

Obituary: Ray Russell

RAY RUSSELL specialised in the mid-century equivalent of the conte cruel, a potent and often grisly mix of grand guignol, sick humour and American gothic (in a line that runs directly from Poe through H.P. Lovecraft and now takes in such chroniclers of the putrefying psyches as Bret Easton Ellis). His chief plot elements - or at any rate the ones he utilised with what seemed the greatest facility and enthusiasm - were torture (chiefly of the medieval variety), perversion, sexual violence, grotesqueries, and irony of the most dreadful kind.

Books: Paperback round-up

The Last Resort by Alison Lurie, Vintage pounds 6.99. If Alison Lurie's characters fret about the disintegrating ozone layer, perishing rainforests and HIV, they do so in the context of a witty social comedy that undermines their own existence. In her first novel for 10 years, the former Pulitzer prize-winner sharpens her satirical skills on 46-year-old Jenny, a "walking anachronism" who has devoted her life to her naturalist husband, Wilkie Walker. In exchange, this almost stereotypically selfish male exploits her intelligence in his work without crediting her contributions. Lurie sets up a predatory-hetero, caring-homosexual dichotomy with a lesbian cat among the pigeons in the shape of Lee. At their age, they should all know better, but Lurie ensnares them in a folie a trois that subtly pinpoints the desperation underlying social relations. However, Lurie cannot live for too long in the shadows, and the transitory community of Florida's Key West gives "the world's most enjoyable author" plenty of room to manoeuvre in her tragi-comedy of love and mortality. Good- humoured self-awareness triumphs over all, and those characters mired in political correctness and self-importance receive a strong dose of Lurie's spiky irony.

Who's suing whom: Duke defends his family domain

THE Most Noble John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer- Churchill, Eleventh Duke of Marlborough, has taken legal action against a firm based in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, over the right to register "BLENHEIM-PALACE.CO- .UK" as a domain name on the Internet.

Books: Egg and sperm race

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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
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South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

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Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
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