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.

Fighting out of the Fringes: The last of the lake

After talking about our current Rough Fiction project for almost a year now the first draft has finally been written. "The Last of the Lake" is finished, for now.

Album: Esben & the Witch, Violet Cries (Matador)

Judging by the titles on their debut album – "Argyria", "Chorea" and "Eumenides" – Brighton trio Esben and the Witch are a band who paid attention in Classics.

Not Lakes, but floods for Cumbria

Flood water covers many of the fields around Derwentwater after the River Derwent burst its banks in Borrowdale, Cumbria, over the weekend.

A Day That Shook The World: Campbell dies in Bluebird crash

On 4 January 1967 Donald Campbell died when trying to break the 300 mile an hour speed barrier on water when his Bluebird vehicle crashed.

Album: Surf City, Kudos (Fire)

The Jesus and Mary Chain-derived band name is an indication of the sound of Kudos, which features booming indie drones drenched in effects; but it's the infectious melodic sense of fellow New Zealanders The Chills that comes through most strongly on songs such as "Crazy Rulers of the World" and "See How the Sun", with their blend of primitive pop smarts, keening vocals and ringing drone guitars.

Lucerne Festival comes to the big screen

London's Odeon Covent Garden may not be as idyllic as the lakeside setting of the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. But classical music lovers can catch the final concert in its summer festival with conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic broadcast in a handful of cinemas in the UK, on Saturday at 5.30pm.

Man arrested over lake deaths crash

Police arrested a 21-year-old man today after a car plunged 20ft down an embankment into a lake, killing two teenagers.

Goldengrove, By Francine Prose

Thirteen-year-old Nico's idyllic family life by Mirror Lake is shattered one summer's day when her sister Margaret drowns. The family is thrown into freefall: Nico's mother becomes dependent on pills, her father seems to be having an affair with his bookshop assistant, and Margaret's boyfriend, Aaron, seems bent on making Nico take his dead girlfriend's place.

Boy catches biggest goldfish

A schoolboy angler reeled in what is thought to be the biggest goldfish ever found in Britain.

Teenage girl, 15, dies after lake rescue

A teenage girl who was pulled from a lake at a water park in Wiltshire has died, police said.

Girl, 15, critical after lake rescue

A teenage girl was fighting for her life today after being pulled from a lake at a water park.

Bad Intentions, By Karin Fossum, trans Charlotte Barslund

A dip into troubled waters

Teenager goes missing while canoeing in Lake District

A canoeist was feared drowned today after failing to resurface in the Lake District.

Lake District killings reminiscent of previous massacres

The Lake District killings are reminiscent of previous massacres in Hungerford, Berkshire, and Dunblane, Scotland, which sent shockwaves through the local communities and the country as a whole.

Helicopter ditches in loch since boat search

A pilot escaped serious injury today when his helicopter crashed into a loch while he was searching for his missing cabin cruiser.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own