The Lost Child, By Julie Myerson

Early on in Julie Myerson's new book, she describes what the textbooks call an "intervention". "You get a whole crowd of people, relatives or friends who really care about your child, people who have been part of his life, to tell him he needs to go to rehab. But it has to be a surprise ..." As interventions go, The Lost Child has been pretty startling. A whole crowd of people – relatives, friends, Newsnight, the Daily Mail – has cornered Myerson's family to tell them what they think. Bloomsbury has rushed the book to publication. Hardly anyone in the country seems not to have an opinion about whether or not Myerson's child needs to go to rehab. It's been a surprise, all right.

Ask Martha: 'Should I come clean about not liking The Wire?'

Got a social dilemma? Martha Arthur has the answer...

Deborah Orr: I'm all for gay rights. I'm also for the right to use London's parks

If heterosexuals began carving up common land in every town so they could shag each other with no strings attached, no one would consider it a great idea’

Last Night's TV: Lost In Austen, ITV1<br />God On Trial, BBC2

Jane's world left me open to persuasion

Steve Bennett: Noises Off

Comedy is a serious business, but big laughs are guaranteed with a sponsor's help

Philip Hensher: What scandal lurks behind 'The Wire'?

Everyone agrees that The Wire is a great classic; it has been called the best series ever made by television, anywhere. It looks to me very much like a work of the highest literary art. As British viewers watch it heading into the later stretches of its fifth and last series, it maintains the power and range that have left everyone who has ever seen it struggling for superlatives. But – let's admit it – you haven't seen it; it's quite likely you haven't even heard of it. The first episode of this last series, broadcast on the FX cable channel, gathered only 38,000 viewers. It's a complete scandal.

Big venues 'squeezing out the spirit of Edinburgh Fringe'

The head of Edinburgh's most prestigious comedy awards has warned that the "spirit of the Fringe" is in danger of being lost because of the attention given to the festival's largest venues.

Fringe ticket chaos leaves laughter in short supply

Blue skies over Edinburgh's Royal Mile did much to help fill the streets and create a pre-festival buzz yesterday. But the anticipation felt by hundreds of thousands of fans heading for the Fringe Festival, many travelling across the globe to be in Scotland's first city, was beginning to wear thin by mid-afternoon.

Behind The Wire: cult classic reaches final season

As the final season of the US crime drama begins, DVD sales prove Britain has embraced a TV cult classic

Close to 'The Wire' on the mean streets of Baltimore

As the gritty US drama begins its final series on UK television, self-confessed fan Andy Lynes explores the famous locations with notorious drug dealer Proposition Joe (aka Robert F Chew)

Laurence and Gus Men in Love, Pleasance Upstairs, Edinburgh

Breezy affair of the heart takes heat out of a frenzied Fringe

Leading Article: The Edinburgh Fringe is too high-falutin

NEARLY TWO decades ago, a pair of young men from Brighton called Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas tried out an anarchic busking act on a street during the Edinburgh Festival. Their improvised group quickly became a fringe favourite; later, the act evolved into an innovative cacophony of dustbin-banging, broomstick-twirling and matchbox-shaking known as Stomp. It has now been seen by more than six million people in 23 countries, not to mention the 200 million television viewers who saw the group at the 1996 Oscar ceremony.

Protest fails to stop gay Jesus playing the Fringe

PROTESTERS FAILED to stop the opening of Corpus Christi, a play at this year's Edinburgh Fringe in which Jesus is "converted" to homosexuality by Judas Iscariot.
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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

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London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

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The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
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Greens on the march

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Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
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Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

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