Life and Style Bercow's reliably indiscreet daily missives are notably absent from cyberspace

The costly libel judgment against the Speaker’s wife Sally Bercow has been widely seen as a timely warning for other would-be controversialists on social media.

MP second home claims a third down

MPs' claims for second home expenses slumped by more than a third in the wake of the scandal that engulfed Westminster, it was disclosed today.

Diary: A man in control of his media

Anyone previously unbriefed as to whether Craig Oliver was a blue-sky-thinking Steve Hilton-alike or an Andy Coulson-esque attack dog has their answer courtesy of this compelling photograph of Oliver arriving for his first day at work. Number 10's new communications chief, or so his accessories would attest, is a fellow who gives good flow-chart. Let's start with the "Beats by [Dr] Dre" designer headphones, denoting a middle-aged man keen to convince passers-by that he was once deeply into hip-hop, and thus requires "cans" with superior bass quality in order to enjoy his old Public Enemy albums on the move.

Diary: Beware the Trojan panda, Nick

The Chinese state can be devilishly ingenious. Consider, if you will, giant pandas: the world's most effective sleeper agents. As the latest issue of Prospect points out, Nixon was presented with a pair of pandas on his 1972 visit to China; just four months later his cronies broke into Democrat headquarters at the Watergate. Later that year, Japanese PM Kakuei Tanaka took delivery of the deceptively cuddly Lan Lan and Kang Kang; he was soon ousted, and embroiled in a bribery scandal. Ted Heath, too, was given a pair of bears mere months before yielding No 10 to Harold Wilson. In 2000, the outgoing Clinton-Gore administration accepted pandas in recognition of years of careful diplomacy with the Chinese. A week later, Gore conceded the presidential election to Bush. And who signed for the UK's new pair of pandas this month? None other than Nick "29 Shags" Clegg. Canny one, that Cameron.

Segway rider guilty of travelling on pavement

An unemployed factory worker today became the first person in the UK to be convicted of riding a Segway on a pavement.

Diary: Big shoes for Morgan...

To the Mandarin Oriental, where Piers Morgan was hosting his own farewell bash, before setting sail for America to take over CNN's interview show from Larry King. Duncan Bannatyne was in strident form as he regaled me, at some length, with his views on tax avoidance.

Dom Joly: Jungle fever!

Our much-reduced writer tells all about his longed-for release from a sodden camp, strange alliances, and a desperate quest for the Test score

Terence Blacker: Sometimes you can be too dignified

It has been one of those moments when, as if we have suddenly been spooked by the chilly uncertainties of today and tomorrow, there has been a general scurrying back to the warmth and safety of yesterday. The newspapers have earnestly discussed weddings, public schools, frocks and class. Broadcasters of the old-codger school have bemoaned how fings ain't wot they used to be. A couple of veteran British pin-ups have been back in the headlines.

Diary: Bagshawe's novel ideas

Tory totty Louise Bagshawe MP gave new meaning to the phrase "in-house publicity" by garnering a series of plugs for her book Passion in the Commons this summer. I can now exclusively reveal the plot of her as-yet-untitled next novel, which also follows Desire (2010), Glitz (2008), Glamour (2007) and Sparkles (2006).

Snake bites Lembit Opik on Celebrity challenge

Former MP Lembit Opik has been bitten by a snake while enduring the latest I'm A Celebrity challenge.

Diary: Not quite like a Rolling Stone

After it presumably became clear the man himself couldn't be bothered, who better to read the audio version of Keith Richards' memoirs than dashing shipmate Johnny Depp?

Diary: More monkey business

For those of you pedantic enough to question the merits of any column that resorts to revealing "news" about pretend people, move along.

Diary: Murdoch's laureate of lunacy goes too far

Will this vile persecution of Andy Coulson never cease? What days these have been for any PhD student researching the thesis entitled "Conspiracy Theory and the Murdoch Empire: Seeking a Common Thread". We'll come to Sky Box Office at the end, but first to Glenn Beck, Fox's lachrymose laureate of lunacy, who last week launched the most overtly anti-semitic attack any mainstream media in any western democracy has known in decades against George Soros, a hate figure to the far right for championing progressive causes.

First Night: I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! ITV1, 9pm

Humiliation, hunger and insect-eating, but not much jungle fever

Village People: Lembit Opik to reveal feline side in return to limelight

Lembit Opik, the former Liberal Democrat MP, is so ridiculous that he is rather lovable.

Diary: Never met – done a duet

Dizzee Rascal, named Ultimate Man of the Year at this week's Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards, has teamed up with Cheryl Cole (named Woman of the Year at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, which were in June, in case there's any confusion) for her remarkably non-awful track "Everybody, Everyone" from new album Messy Little Teardrops. But the two, he tells me, never shared a studio. "It was like it never happened," Mr Rascal admitted at the Cosmo event. "I never saw her. They sent me three tracks and I basically picked the one I thought would be best. It saves money on planes: imagine going halfway across the world in first class then deciding that you don't like the person. If they just send you a track, you can get it done in your own studio, in your comfort zone.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform