Arts and Entertainment Comedian Ross Noble whose impression of

Comedian Ross Noble's impression of "elephant man" John Merrick in an edition of Have I Got News For You has been ruled to be "at the margins of acceptability" by the BBC Trust.

Book of a lifetime: The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak

I've given a lot of thought to books that hold a significant meaning for me; the books that have stayed with me long after the final page has been turned. There are many books that have shaped me. To select one feels like an impossible task, like choosing between salade niçoise and buttery mashed potatoes. I love both at different times of the year.

Pic de Bugarach mountain in France

Mayan apocalypse: What now for Bugarach - the French village that will survive the apocalypse

“I am making an appeal to the world – do not come to Bugarach.” Not the kind of pro-tourism message you’d expect from a mayor. But pity poor Jean-Pierre Delord of Bugarach in France, who is putting off visitors who believe his town’s Pic de Bugarach mountain is due to open up and spit out human-saving aliens during today’s Mayan-predicted apocalypse.

DVD: Merlin: Series 4 (12)

"We shan't go to Camelot, 'tis a silly place," as Monty Python pointed out, and the BBC's sword-and-sorcery drama is pretty silly. It's also, however, enormous fun.

A man for all seasons

It's easy to build a classic but current capsule wardrobe. Lee Holmes selects the everyday essentials that will see you through rain and shine

Quiet please: rock gig etiquette

Talking loudly at a pop concert these days can get you reprimanded – and don't even think of spilling your beer. Fiona Sturges applauds the new etiquette

DVD: 44 Inch Chest (18)

Colin Diamond (Ray Winstone), a gangster, spends much of this film snivelling about his estranged wife and struggling to decide whether to kill the French waiter she's sleeping with.

DVD: Outlander, For retail & rental, (Momentum)

Never mind Monsters vs Aliens, the three-word pitch of Outlander is "Vikings vs Aliens", as Jim Caviezel's spaceman crashlands in eighth-century Norway with a fire-breathing beastie in the hold.

Outlander (15)

Alien vs... Viking? You'd better believe it.

FILM: THE STORY OF THE SCENE: `Alien' (1979)

Raised from their stasis-like sleep, the crew of the spaceship Nostromo have stopped to investigate a mysterious distress signal. It's not a good move. In the ruins of an ancient craft in a windswept planet they discover a cargo of giant eggs. John Hurt bends over to peer at one. In a flash, a terrifying organism has attached itself to his face. Taken back to the ship, he remains unconscious until the creature appears to die and fall off. But in the mess hall of the Nostromo he convulses - and a gruesome junior alien bursts from his chest, spraying the onlookers with blood. It's gone down in film legend as the event that Ridley Scott concealed from 28-year-old Sigourney Weaver and her co-stars, hoping to catch real expressions of fear and revulsion.

Film Interview: Alienated? Excuse my French ...

When Jean-Pierre Jeunet got the call to go to Hollywood to direct the latest `Alien' film, he knew it was time to learn some English, get on a plane, and compromise the principles of a lifetime.

Recycled / Where John Lewis met John Hurt

Cavendish Square seems, calmer than other London squares - slightly old-fashioned, less hurly-burly, even cleaner than others; almost a film set vision of London as it is supposed to be. So it's the right place to come across John Hurt, that most versatile, most gentlemanly, most British of actors.

Death in Venice: the remix

Thomas Mann's gay 'Lolita' has been done to death. But one British director was determined to make a film of the novel inspired by the film of the original. And set it in Swiss Cottage. Roger Clarke went on location to find out why

Earthly price for 'Alien' beastie

First seen erupting from John Hurt's chest, the monster that formed the centrepiece of the film Alien goes on sale next month. Those with pounds 20,000 to spend can discover the workings of the puppet that horrified Sigourney Weaver and Hurt in Ridley Scott's 1979 film.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee