Voices Public pain: Valérie Trierweiler has to still to endure the humiliation of facing the world

Being beautiful, successful and rich doesn’t protect you from pain, but when endured in the spotlight, the results can be devastating

Rebecca Tyrrel: Russell Crowe has taken up knitting as a tool for anger management

Who knew that Harry Styles, the curly-haired, urchin-faced pretty boy from One Direction, fancifully described by a leading fashion commentator as "part Indie-boy mess, part French arthouse, part young Mick Jagger", enjoys knitting?

White out: Keep the table free for food by hanging decorations from the ceiling or light fittings. From £4, thewhitecompany.com

Hanging out the cheer

Whether you're putting them up now or holding out until Christmas Eve, Trish Lorenz has all the bright baubles and luxuries lights you'll need

Save the Children ambassador Myleene Klass models a Christmas jumper

Fashion: 'Twas the knit before Christmas...

Seasonal sweaters have shaken off their comedy image to become really rather stylish – and there's even a charity day devoted to wearing them. It's enough to make you jumper for joy

Find the natural beauty in Australia’s harsh ‘Red Centre’

The Lonely Planet Adventures: The Larapinta Trail

In 1908, it was called the finest walk in the world. It's still the country's most popular hike

IoS paperback review: A Short History of England, By Simon Jenkins

A good old traditional kings-and-queens canter through English history, from the withdrawal of the Romans in 410, to the election of the coalition in 2010.

My Secret Life: Jamie Oliver, 37, TV chef

'I'm no good at poaching eggs'

'Silent without trying': The Revolution Belter '12

Wheels, Etc: Revolution Belter '12

A chain-free bike – but it is it a belting ride?

Moto GP: Lorenzo crash lets in Pedrosa

The MotoGP season ended with a Dani Pedrosa win in Valencia after newly crowned world champion Jorge Lorenzo had crashed earlier in the race.

Simon English: Hands up for a really mean sacking

Outlook The initials of the Swiss bank UBS used to stand for, informally you understand, Utter Bull Shit.

The Haunted Book, By Jeremy Dyson

Sex and ghosts and rock'n'roll

McDermid says: 'My five-year plan is to stay alive and write more books'

My Secret Life: Val McDermid, 57, author

'I wanted to be Joni Mitchell'

Adriatic appeal: Podgorica, Montenegro

Open Jaw: Where readers write back

Big in 2013: Montenegro

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-56

Communism's end was in its beginning

In the Red: What's your car really worth? Italy provides a crash course

Today, I discuss not the monetary value of your car, but rather the emotional worth you place on it; how much you treasure it and pamper it with soft cloths. Because not everyone in Europe is as reverential with their jalopy as we Brits.

Leading article: A vision of Britain that unites us

Normal service may have resumed in terms of the weather in London yesterday, with yet more rain, but that won't have dampened the warm afterglow left in the nation's hearts and minds by Danny Boyle's wondrous and witty Opening Ceremony at the London Olympics.

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tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
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Bats detect and react to wind speed and direction through sensors on their wings
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The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
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Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
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Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
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The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
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Day In a Page

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
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