Extras
 

From Furbys to robotic puppies, there are lots of fun, innovative and educational toys in the shops this year. Kate Hilpern picks the ones the kids (and big kids) will love

I love Lego: Celebrating 50 years of the tiny building blocks

On Monday, Lego is 50. The tiny building blocks have entertained more than 400 million adults and children, inspired artists, and changed the lives of countless future architects and designers. To celebrate, we gave buckets of bricks to some of Britain's most creative minds, sat back, and waited. Here's what they came up with...

My Secret Life: Zoe Ball

TV & radio presenter

Bang & Olufsen fires CEO as sales slump

Bang & Olufsen has dismissed its long-serving chief executive Torben Ballegaard Sorensen as a result of a dismal sales performance over the past six months and concerns over the strategic direction of the high-end stereo and TV manufacturer.

Thomas Sutcliffe: No chemistry lesson with Cate

The only thing wrong with Notes On A Scandal, I realised the other day, is that it didn't make me want to sleep with a 15-year-old boy. In the grand scheme of things - Academy Award electoral politics among them - I don't suppose this is a huge problem. Voters tend to shy away from works that inadvertently propagandise for predatory sexual experimentation. And to be honest I can live with the shortcoming pretty easily myself, never having felt that this was a gap in my life experience that needed to be filled. Indeed, to describe this failure as a shortcoming at all may be off the mark, since Richard Eyre has clearly framed the critical relationship in the story as an inexplicable folly rather than an understandable one. In an interview, he explained the casting of Bill Nighy as a deliberate strategy, designed to deprive Cate Blanchett's art teacher Sheba of one obvious alibi (marital dissatisfaction) for succumbing to the clumsy seductions of her teenage pupil. You are meant to sit there thinking "What is she doing?"

George Michael sparks anger after smoking cannabis on TV show

From "Zip Me Up Before You Go-Go" to "Careless Rizla", George Michael's private life has attracted plenty of damaging headlines over the years.

Frog glory spawned by jailbird

Top-selling toy leaves junk bond king hopping all the way to the bank

Sleepover: A bed in France

Formule 1

THE VIEW FROM THE DOME

Hamish Birrell, eight,

Design: Please give me a football pitch

Eight optimistic children reveal what they really want for Christmas. Oh yeah? say their parents.

Keep out: adults at play

Children, children everywhere and not a place to think? Build yourself a Wendy house and escape, says KATE WORSLEY

A cyber solution to wage rage

Ask entrepreneurs what they least like about being in business, and doing the books is likely to be near the top of the list, writes Roger Trapp.

Architecture: Lego lands - Winning designs and models by architects of all ages

The Wannabe Builder (above) by 9-year-old James Halpin shows the colourful confidence of a young Klee. The twin towers was one entry from the winning class at Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Primary School in Surrey

Architecture: Building up the future is child's play

Where can you see London's new Ferris Wheel, Heathrow's Terminal Five and Wembley's twin towers all in the same building? At Legoland in Windsor, of course, where a new scheme is encouraging children to think about the built environment.
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable