News Briony McRoberts as Sam Hagen in 'Take the High Road'

The actress Briony McRoberts spent two decades taking character roles on television before making her biggest impact as the super-bitch Sam Hagen in Take the High Road, the Scottish soap opera screened nationally by ITV.

Reflective calm: Loch Lomond, where 'the scenery is stunning'

My life in travel: Gordon Strachan

'Loch Lomond is like a different country'

Francesco Molinari hit 10 birdies at Castle Stuart yesterday

Francesco Molinari's birdie blitz should keep family happy

Francesco Molinari made a dazzling start to the Scottish Open yesterday. The 29-year-old Italian leads after a 10-birdie course-record 62 at Castle Stuart in Inverness, against a field that includes the world No 1, Luke Donald, and 10 major champions.

Cameron at the Quaker Oats site

Cursed! The astonishing story of porridge's poster boy

David Cameron may yet come to regret his breakfast encounter with the shot-putting, kilt-wearing giant who has adorned cereal boxes across the land for many a chilly winter. David Randall unravels an amazing tale

A statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn

Spirit of Bannockburn thrives north of the border

While symbols of nationalism proliferate at the site of the battle, not everyone's mind is made up, says Hamish Macdonell

Dom Joly: The Mounties always get their phone call

I've finished my expedition to the glorious Okanagan Valley in British Columbia (Canada's California, apparently) investigating Ogopogo, the monster that is supposed to inhabit Lake Okanagan. Don't worry, I haven't gone all David Icke (yet) – this is for my new book, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, and the subject gives me an excuse to visit some pretty interesting parts of the world. Canada was probably a brave choice for a first destination as it is seen as literary Mogadon by publishers. Bill Bryson supposedly wanted to write a book about the country but his publishers recoiled in horror. I love the place – I have a Canadian wife and spend every summer there – and hope to convert as many Brits as possible to the land of the beaver.

Toddler dies in caravan park lake

A 19-month-old boy has died after falling into a lake at a caravan park while on holiday with his parents.

TV crew killed in helicopter crash

A prominent Australian journalist is believed to be among three people killed in a helicopter crash.

Two men drown in lake

Two men in their 40s have drowned while swimming in a lake, police said today.

British student's body found

The body of a British student who went missing in the Amazon jungle has been found, it was confirmed today.

Pony pushed to death in lake by gang

Police are appealing for witnesses after a pony was pushed to its death in a lake.

Goebbels' lakeside property for sale

A lakeside property in Berlin once owned by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels is up for sale at auction.

Noises Off, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

It is perfectly conceivable that you could sit through three acts of Michael Frayn's homage to the Great British farce and emerge thinking: "Thank God they don't make them like that any more". For anyone who grew up with the politically correct mores of the 1980s alternative-comedy scene, the idea of a theatre audience willingly subjecting themselves to an evening of unvarnished sexist stereotypes, double entendres, relentless running gags and, of course, those dropping trousers seems unimaginably alien.

Island of Bones, By Imogen Robertson

Lakes tale plunges to dark depths

Swan Lake, Coliseum, London

In London, ENB tend to dance their huge Swan Lake, the vast in-the-round production Derek Deane created for the Royal Albert Hall. This time, they're dancing Deane's smaller version, created for conventional theatres. And very satisfying it is too; a picture-book world with strong performances, particularly the Swan Queen and Prince of Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov. Peter Farmer's traditional designs frame the lake with delicately cut-out trees.

'Insulting' maps of Loch Lomond axed

Loch Lomond locals have forced park authorities to destroy copies of a new navigational chart.

Sport
Andy Murray reaches the final of the Australian Open after beating Tomas Berdych in another impressive display, but the match was marred by ill feeling
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The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
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Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
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Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
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The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
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newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
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Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
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Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links