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.

Left reeling: Ice fishing in North Dakota

Barbed-wired prairies, hot fudge milkshakes and blood on the snow: Tam Leach goes ice fishing on Devils Lake and learns that there's more to North Dakota than the widescreen vistas of 'Fargo' country

The Bogus Woman, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Theatre by the Lake's newly enlarged 100-seat traverse studio offers, for those in search of darker drama to fit the mood of the Lakes, something more substantial than the plays in its main house. Here, Martin McDonagh's savagely comic The Lonesome West and Pinter's enigmatic The Caretaker frame a production of Kay Adshead's provocative and painful The Bogus Woman.

Double delight for Britons caught up in 'fight in a lake'

It was officially called the 10km open water race but in reality it was the inaugural women's 10km Fight in a Lake. And Britain's Keri-Anne Payne and Cassie Patten can take immense satisfaction from the respective silver and bronze medals they won here at the Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park today after an enthralling and historic contest.

Confusion over China lake alert

China's state news agency said today 1.3 million people had been ordered to move to higher ground for fear a "quake lake" caused by this month's devastating earthquake could burst its mud and rock dam, but the announcment was immediately denied by an official spokesman.

Album: Thomas Denver Jonsson, The Lake Acts Like an Ocean (Kite)

Don't be fooled by the "Denver" in his name. He's all Swede. Not unless you count Jonsson's feel for the more romantic tropes of American indie-folk. Yes, Neil Young is traceable in his voice and in some of his melodies, but really this is the fuzzy introspection of M Ward and his ilk: quiet choogling in the face of a stand-offish, underwhelming nature. Why should you bother, when there's such a lot of this stuff around? Well, the aforementioned tunes can be lovely, as can the arrangements (strings and all); and Jonsson's Swedish way with a meteorological/seasonal image is striking. "Stay pale and stay warm" indeed.

Will Self : PsychoGeography

Flight of the condor

Voices, by Arnaldur Indridason (translated by Bernard Scudder)

A sad winter's tale that makes ideal summer reading

An enterprise that's the reel deal

An organic trout farmer explains how he built his business up from scratch. By Midge Todhunter

A million flamingos could lose home as Kenyan lake dries up

Kenya's Lake Nakuru, one of the world's great natural spectacles and home to more than a million flamingos, is in imminent danger of drying up, conservationists have warned.

Darts: King sent packing as Brantjes holds nerve

Third seed Mervyn King, twice runner-up at the Lakeside World Championship, bowed out of this year's tournament tonight when beaten 3-2 by surprise Dutch package Andre Brantjes.

Glittering cygnet ring

The much-celebrated, all-male version of Swan Lake comes back for another encore

Discovery of 10,000 dead fish baffles environment inspectors

An urgent investigation has been launched by the Environment Agency after 10,000 fish died in an urban lake.

The £1m house worth just £500,000 (only locals need apply)

To the casual eye it is a luxury £1m property on the banks of Loch Lomond, complete with woodland, a private jetty and parking for up to eight vehicles. But to one local authority this magnificent estate is simply "affordable housing".

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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 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project