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.

IN BRIEF: Surprise move in mother's murder trial

Surprise move in mother's murder trial

Crappie idea that caught on

fishing lines

Face to face with a rat on the run


Now you see it, now you don't

Somewhere in the deep, dark depths of Loch Ness, there lurks a creature. Of that we can be almost certain. But whether it looks remotely like the humped beast etched on the mind of every impressionable coach party that passes through the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre is another matter entirely.

Bin Nashwan for Brittain

It is nothing short of heresy, but an inspection of the runners in today's Free Handicap at Newmarket makes you ponder whether it might not be better all round if Celtic Swing does not quite live up to expectations.

Baby in lake

Baby in lake

Classical Music : It's goodbye from him: Tippett goes plop

SEVERAL years ago the South Bank ran a festival devoted to "late works" which raised the interesting question of what, if anything, identified a late work - other than its nearness to the author's death. A sharper sense of focus? Heightened wisdom? Sometimes it seems so - and then composers like Michael Tippett fool everyone by living so long that their late works turn out not to be late after all. It follows that you have to be careful what you read into Tippett's The Rose Lake, which has just had its world premire from the LSO and Colin Davis at the Barbican. But it is almost certainly his last work, the final statement in a long and sometimes great creative life. And you'd be hard pushed not to hear in it a note of valediction.

Missing angler feared dead

The body of an angler was recovered from Loch Lomond last night but his companion was still missing, feared drowned.

Letter:Paras' penalty makes sense

From Mr Roger Lake, JP Sir: In the understandable furore over the sentences on the four thugs in the Parachute Regiment, has too little attention been paid to the Compensation Orders? Compensation is now regarded as a penalty in its own right, and takes precedence over fines and costs. Since the criminals are to remain in employment, the victim will actually get the £13,000 compensation ordered. Had they been imprisoned, how much would he have received from the Government through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board? Much less, I think.

When the trees drown

rain Kirsty Gunn Faber & Faber £5.99

The Divine baby grows up: Ricki Lake, the jumbo teen star of Hairspray, has slimmed down and lucked out with her own hit chat show, writes Bonnie Vaughan

'A RRIGHT, cool] Yeah]' Ricki Lake is standing in front of her studio audience clutching her microphone, and today - like every day - she is grinning from ear to ear. The topic of her eponymously titled talk show is 'I'm About To Tell My Best Friend . . . Surprise] I'm In Love With You]' Sweet, homely Tara is sitting onstage beside her best friend, Chucker, a cute surfer who thinks he's been invited to the show to discuss the joys of platonic friendships between men and women.

Flat Earth: Nessie come home

A BIG breakthrough for the Research Association for Queer Animals. Now, don't be like that - it's a perfectly reputable organisation set up by Chinese scientists to investigate reports of a Loch Ness-type creature said to live in Lake Tianchi, the Heavenly Lake, in northern China. They say the monster has been spotted 'moving as fast as a walking man and churning up large waves'.

Todays, Number: 113

The trout caught by the England team in the international fly-fishing competition on the Lake of Menteith, Scotland. England's winning total weighed 123lb 8oz. Scotland were second with 108 fish.

Motor racing: Mansell pushed off provisional pole

Nigel Mansell bettered the previous track record in the first qualifying session for today's Road America 200 at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. However, he was still beaten into provisional pole position by Al Unser Jnr. Unser Jnr produced a top lap speed of 134.948mph while Mansell recorded 134.630mph.

Letter: When public pressure distorts the law

Sir: Roger Lake's response (letter, 27 July) to my letter on abolishing the Home Secretary's right to overrule sentences in criminal matters (25 July) misunderstands my point. It is perfectly true, and proper, that in a democracy the law, including sentences in criminal matters, reflects popular sentiment. The point is that it should do so uniformly and without discrimination. The problem arises when public feelings can determine the result in any particular case, so that the fundamental principle of equality before the law is imperilled, as is plainly the case under the present arrangements.
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album