Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

Blair's coupling with Cherie is up for a Bad Sex Award

"That night she cradled me in her arms and soothed me; told me what I needed to be told; strengthened me ... On that night of 12 May 1994 I needed that love [she] gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct ... "

Album: Michael Berkeley, Ian McEwan, Music Theatre Wales, For You (Signum Classics)

Michael Berkeley and Ian McEwan's new opera deals frankly with themes of age and ego, obsession and suspicion, as they impact upon the household of a satyric composer, Charles Frieth.

Have you read any good films lately?

A version of Kazuo Ishiguro's Let Me Go will open the London Film Festival. Yet Salman Rushdie is ignored by directors, and Martin Amis struggles on screen. Geoffrey Macnab reports

Between the Sheets, By Lesley McDowell

Lesley McDowell selects nine women writers from the first half of the 20th century, reviews destructive behaviour in their sexual partnerships with male writers, and argues that humiliation and pain in such relationship was and is intrinsic to their achievement. I wondered at her choice of title. She is formidably well-read and must know of Ian McEwan's short-story collection In Between the Sheets. Perhaps, like him, she could not resist the droll literary pun.

Goodbye, Mr Chippy: As Craig Raine prepares for retirement the fiction critics are sharpening their knives

The opinionated and divisive poet-critic Craig Raine is retiring from his teaching post at Oxford University. But as the dusty halls breathe a sigh of relief, the fiction critics are sharpening their knives...

Huntington's Disease cases 'under-estimated'

The incurable brain illness Huntington's Disease (HD) is at least twice as common as previously thought, medical experts said today.

Ian McEwan sees funny side of Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize nomination

The writer Ian McEwan, right, whose brooding novels led him to acquire the nickname of "Ian Macabre" early in his career, is not normally associated with the upper-class humorist P G Wodehouse – not least because he once stated: "I hate comic novels". But yesterday his latest work of fiction, Solar, was deemed to capture "the comic spirit of Wodehouse" as it was shortlisted for a comic fiction award.

Pandora: John Prescott fails to lord it on the campaign trail

Last week Pandora speculated as to the proximity of a Prescott peerage. Having been both deputy Labour leader and deputy PM, the veteran bruiser would be more than qualified for a spot on Gordon Brown's disollution honours list, despite his previously-stated opposition to the principle.

Boyd Tonkin: A velvet revolution on the shelves

The Week In Books

Tom Sutcliffe: The pious politics of the quilt

The Week In Culture

Hard science and soft humanity: At home with Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan's new novel, Solar, satirises the low compulsions of an absurd scientist but celebrates the high aims of scientific research. Boyd Tonkin meets the 'imaginative rationalist' of British literature

Love changes everything: The men picking up Barbara Cartland's baton

Barbara Cartland's stranglehold over the nation's heartstrings is being challenged by a curious breed: this Valentine's Day, the romantic novel in your hands might have been written – try not to blush, now – by a man
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause