Books of the year 2013: War

Private Alex Stringer, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was 20 when he was blown up in Afghanistan: "The reason I lost my left leg so high up is because the burning paint cooked my left leg all the way down to the bone. But if I hadn't set myself on fire, I would have bled out and died – as a result of it, all the arteries became cauterised".

Jeremy Paxman blasts David Cameron over WWI centenary comments

'What on earth is he talking about?' asks the Newsnight presenter

Troops from the 48th Royal Marines on Juno Beach, Normandy, during the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944

Normandy Voices: Why we're backing a campaign to record the memories of every D-Day survivor

The  pivotal battle is about to pass over the horizon of living memory

Museum staff go on strike

Two days of strike action at museums and galleries across Britain has begun in a long-running row over jobs, pay and pensions.

Former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft is to sign a pledge to give at least half of his estimated £1.2bn fortune to charity

Lord Ashcroft joins Bill Gates' pledge to give up half his fortune

The billionaire Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft is to sign a pledge to give at least half of his estimated £1.2bn fortune to charity, it emerged today.

Foyle's War

Anthony Horowitz: Current Foyle's War series will probably be the last

Foyle's War creator Anthony Horowitz says the current series of the detective drama will probably be his last.

Portrait of Winston Churchill 'in crisis' to go on public display

A life-size portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, which he said revealed his soul during one of his darkest hours, is going on public display after years spent hanging on the wall of the home of his late grandson.

David Cameron promises 'truly national commemoration' to mark First World War centenary

The Prime Minister said there would be events to mark 100 years since the outbreak of war in 2014, Armistice Day in 2018, and the dates of major battles in between.

Portfolio: Cecil Beaton

He is known as a documenter of high society and glamour: the man who shot the Windsors, Grace Kelly, Vivien Leigh; Picasso, Dietrich, Churchill, Twiggy; whose aesthetic sensibility was affronted by the newly coronated Queen's nose being too red, Audrey Hepburn's neck too scraggy and Great Garbo's hands as having done too much washing up.

Last Night's Viewing: Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC1
Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies, BBC4

You do sometimes wonder about the posthumous contributors to Who Do You Think You Are?, those sepia figures, so stiffly putting their best face forward, who peer out of dog-eared family photographs as their character and deeds are described on air.

Maria De Villota

F1 driver’s life-threatening injuries after freak crash

Maria de Villota collides with lorry in pits after test run at Duxford for British Grand Prix

Keane (left) says: 'I pretended to be a vegetarian for weeks. It drove him mad as it was so insincere'

How We Met: John Keane & Alexei Sayle

John Keane, 57

Historian made up glittering army career

A military historian who faked an illustrious Army career has been found guilty at Peterborough Crown Court of perverting the course of justice.

Portfolio: Jim Naughten

Simulated battles aren't everyone's cup of tea – but for those who take part (some 20,000 people in the UK), they are a serious business: call their uniforms "costumes" and you might find yourself on the sharp end of a bayonet.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Orchids – the rare, refined beauties of the plant world

Might the day ever come when it would be thought inappropriate to express open and unqualified admiration for an orchid – I mean for its beauty, its elegance and its glamour? Well, stranger things have happened.

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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