Johnny Ball: Hero or Villain?

One, two, three … it shouldn't be that difficult, should it? Certainly not for a master maths mentor. But in rehearsals for the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing last week, Johnny Ball got his sums all wrong as he pulled his partner, the professional dancer Aliona Vilani, in the wrong direction, twisted her leg awkwardly, and left her in hospital with a hairline fracture to her ankle. Maybe it's because they were trying an eight-count tango rather than the "one, two, three" waltz. Maybe it's just that he was determined to get fractions into the show.

Joint Base Lewis- McChord, south of Seattle, has 40,000 soldiers who are between deployments

'A base on the brink': where the trail to Afghan tragedy began

The trail to the Panjawi district of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan, where 16 civilians were murdered in the early hours of Sunday morning, begins at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a sprawling US military facility just south of Seattle.

Police to provide 'urgent' report on Lawrence inquiry claims

Deputy Mayor says Met will respond to allegations about corruption and cover-up in murder case

Six soldiers killed in Afghanistan blast named

Four of the six British soldiers killed in the deadliest single enemy attack on UK forces in Afghanistan since 2001 were aged just 20, the Ministry of Defence revealed today.

The Recruiting Officer, Donmar Warehouse, London
The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lyric Hammersmith, London

Two very funny Shakespeares and an 18th-century romp join the wave of comedies rolling across the British stage

The Recruiting Officer, Donmar Warehouse, London

Sam Mendes was a hard act to follow as inaugural artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse.  But Michael Grandage overcame that difficulty with flamboyantly flying colours.

Wheel life: Adrian Hume with the Caterham kit car he built and races in memory of his son,Daniel

'Daniel is always with me'

Losing his son in Afghanistan broke Adrian Hume's heart. But pursuing their shared passion – and raising thousands for charity – is helping to keep his memory alive

Man admits dangerous dog charge

A man has pleaded guilty to allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control after a six-year-old girl had part of her ear bitten off.

Six-year-old girl savaged in dog attack

A six-year-old girl is in hospital after part of her ear was bitten off by a dog.

Human head found near Hollywood sign

An investigation is under way in Los Angeles after two dogs found a human head in a plastic bag.

Z Cars: The show that blew the whistle on the British bobby

On its 50th anniversary, it's important to remember how how Z Cars revolutionised TV

Tunnel thieves 'only got £6,000'

A gang of thieves who spent six months digging a 100ft tunnel under a car park in a bid to raid a shop's cash machine may have only escaped with around £6,000, sources claimed today.

DVD: The Guard (18)

"I'm sick and tired of the people we have to deal with in this business," Mark Strong's drug-smuggling hood, Clive, moans.

Fog, Finborough Theatre, London

The soldier who returns to find that he's a stranger in the country he fought for is a familiar figure in drama (one thinks of Simon Stephens' recent Motortown), as is the absconding father who is finally forced to confront the consequences of his neglect.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Ann Widdecombe is evidently a convert to the “prolonged frivolity” she enjoyed while competing on Strictly Come Dancing last year. She is back in sequins, feathers and ra-ra skirts this winter in deepest, darkest Dartford. The former Tory minister is now a pantomime dame, performing as Widdy-in-waiting to her ex-Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood’s wicked Queen Lucretia (from Bromley)- his third successive year in the role.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital