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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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

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own