Arts and Entertainment

From 18th-century caricaturists to Desperate Dan, the art of talking in picture-form has a long and (mostly) distinguished history

Laughing all the way to the riverbank

Anonymous bidder pays seven-figure sum for toll bridge – but investment could pay for itself within six years

The 5p toll bridge is sold for £1.08m

A toll bridge over the River Thames was sold for £1,080,000 at auction today.

Manituana, By Wu Ming (translated by Shaun Whiteside)

As a literary project, it looks at first glance like a giggly stunt positioned in some mischief-making space midway between Monty Python and the Sex Pistols. In 2000, a quartet of cultural pranksters and gadflies from Bologna published Q, a historical novel of adventure and ideas set in the 16th century. They chose as their first sobriquet "Luther Blissett": improbably enough, the name of a Watford striker subject to racial abuse after a transfer to Italy to play at AC Milan. Following a quizzical reaction from the real-life Blissett, the group recruited a couple more anonymous writers, picked for their next incarnation "Wu Ming" "no name" in Mandarin and continued to develop a unique brand of intelligent period fiction, with 54 also translated into English.

The truth is out there: 31/10/2009

A weekly look at the world

The Age of Wonder, By Richard Holmes

Holmes's epic biographies of Shelley and Coleridge are dazzling journeys of intellectual exploration. Fans describe them with a delighted awe that very few other biographies manage to generate. Holmes has now done the same for the scientists of the Romantic era.

Wild in Wales: Three men brave the rain in Snowdonia to discover majestic scenery – and some fine food

A Frenchman, an American and an Englishman went for a walk in Wales. The Frenchman was worried about the food. "What do they eat in Wales?" Hervé asked repeatedly. "Are you sure you can eat well in Wales?"

Sarah Sands: Insult America, Russell, but please make sure it's funny

The Americans are the least cynical people on earth, someone remarked to me recently. And so we send over Russell Brand, a comically depraved figure, an MTV Byron, who lewdly insults a virgin boy band and takes on the most powerful figure in the world, the US President.

Leading article: Riding for a fall

Few British MPs have ever been expelled from Parliament and sent to prison. Among the handful were a couple of Jacobites and John Wilkes, the radical hero who fled to America to avoid trial for libel in the reign of George III. Will the Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik be the next to join them?

1789: The threshold of the modern age, By David Andress

A year is a long time in the global movement towards liberal internationalism

Collection paints George III as a monarch mad about art

There are just two things that most people think they know about George III: he went mad and he lost America.

The Information on `Battle Royal'

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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
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Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
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Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
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Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink