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Many of us will have booked our holidays by now and bought the sun-cream too. But what to read under the palm tree or on the beach or the staycation sofa?

Angelos Epithemiou and Friends, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

BBC2's Shooting Stars provided the big break for Angelos Epithemiou and in a very short space of time, the dishevelled clown, who owes so much to the stylings of his hosts Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, has enjoyed a suitably stellar ascent.

Susan Boyle to take on Lady Gaga at Grammys

Susan Boyle will take on Lady Gaga and Katy Perry in a bid to bag a Grammy.

Tom Sutcliffe: Death comes to us all – and very useful it is too

Social Studies: Our deaths in the abstract have a social utility. They make space for those behind us

Robyn: 'I just want to be normal'

She spent her childhood travelling with her parents' avant-garde theatre troupe, and her teen years as a pop puppet – so is it any wonder that Sweden's most idiosyncratic pop star craves simplicity? Hugh Montgomery talks to Robyn about TV talent shows, youth gangs and Lady Gaga

JB Shorts 4, Joshua Brooks Bar, Manchester

The little festival of six playets known as JB Shorts is becoming something of a tradition in Manchester. This is the fourth year in which a group of writers and actors from TV soaps get together to do the kind of work that they wouldn't be allowed to do on the telly but which was what brought them into writing and acting in the first place. Denizens of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Holby City, Casualty, Two Pints of Lager, Heartbeat produce two hours that are polished, poignant and provocative.

The Queen's corsetier hits hard times as bra wars intensify

Rigby & Peller, the corsetier to the Queen and many Hollywood A-listers, may offer bras up to a formidable size M cup. Where profits are concerned, however, it is not so well-endowed: according to its latest annual accounts, the company made a loss of £214,000 last year, compared with a pre-tax profit of £168,000 the year before.

All that glitters: Winter wardrobe sparkle

Brighten up your winter wardrobe with twinkling trousers, shiny shirts and jazzy jackets – just don’t wear them all at once, says Harriet Walker

Hip-hop's Lady Gaga leads a new generation

The rising stars of rap are consigning bling, booty and drive-bys to the history books. Gillian Orr finds new reason in the rhymes.

Lady Gaga's meat dress is preserved for ever – as beef jerky

When the question arises of what to do with a special dress after its first outing, most head for the dry cleaners and buy a plastic sleeve to keep the dust off.

Lady Gaga appeals for gay military law reform

Pop star Lady Gaga visited the US state of Maine on the eve of a key Senate vote to urge its two US senators to help repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.

DJ Taylor: Lady Gaga and the TUC prove there's nowt new under t' sun

With the BBC celebrating the cultural emergence of the North and the press reviving the spectre of union power, the past week has been like stepping back in time

From teen idol to Twitter drain: the inescapable Justin Bieber

You may not have heard of Justin Bieber and could be excused for failing to recognise him were he seated next to you on the bus – which is unlikely because he's too busy eating the internet, site by site, gigabyte by gigabyte.

Harriet Walker: Time to make STDs taboo again

With infections among the young on the rise, where's our sense of shame?

Lady Gaga is "queen of Twitter'

There may be no reliable way to make money off Twitter yet, but Lady Gaga seems pleased that she surpassed Britney Spears over the weekend as the tweeter with the most followers.

Lady Gaga to steal Britney Spears' Twitter crown

In a symbolic exchanging of the pop princess crown, Lady Gaga will soon become the world's top Twitter user by overtaking current champ Britney Spears' number of followers.

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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 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent