Sport Wiggins wins Sports Personality award after his Tour de France and Olympic triumphs

Psychological study reveals how we feel about sportspeople

Austria: The joys of going flat out

Cross-country skiing offers an eye-opening alternative to the downhill variety.

Cyclo-therapy: 'Bear spray? Elk attacks? Wildlife conflicts for UK cyclists rarely involve anything more than wayward sheep'

If cycling for you means fat tyres and front forks with more bounce than a beach ball, you probably ditched this column years ago, so fixated am I on the road. But, guess what, I've been mountain biking! And it was scary, although I was lucky enough not to be eaten by a bear.

Kate Nash, Village Undergound, London

Skin-tight black lycra catsuit, severe fringed bob and jet-black eye shadow, all finished with a cropped leather biker jacket and shoulder pads. Kate Nash's new look certainly matches the scenester setting – an intimate converted warehouse tucked down a Hoxton backstreet. But as first impressions go, the crowd seem miffed. There's a dour-faced dominatrix sitting centre stage behind the keyboard, where a smiling frock-clad girl-next-door used to be.

Rhiannon Harries: The 1990s are back? They were bad enough the first time round

When it comes to clothing, the word "vintage" covers a wide spectrum of personal definitions. For sticklers, it's a term to describe everything that falls between a flapper dress and a hippy-chick maxi – garments produced between 1920 and 1980. For others, it's just a more poetic way of referring to a belt they've pilfered from their mother's wardrobe.

Carlos Acosta, Sadler's Wells, London

In Acosta, we have a noble performer with nothing left to prove

Observations: Spymonkey are having a whale of a time with their new show Moby Dick

If laughter is the best form of therapy, then the British-based physical comedy troupe Spymonkey are just the tonic. Their brand new show, Moby Dick, is about an impresario called Tony Parks, whose ambition it is to put on Moby Dick: The Play. Quite how to put a whale on stage was just one of the challenges faced by the quartet, who got round it by dressing one of their actors in white lycra.

Miley 'over moon' after final effort

Briton delighted despite missing out on the medals as more records are shattered

Games Review: Tour de France 2009

Xbox Live Arcade, Cyanide Studios, £6.80

Hit & Run: Missing the XXL factor

Beth Ditto is known for her idiosyncratic rock yodel, her sexual preferences and, of course, her habit of taking her clothes off on-stage. She isn't one to hide her lights under a bushel, nor is she one to hide her bushel under the stage lights. Fans and critics alike have been treated to the most intimate details of her (under)garments, and now high street shoppers will be too.

Pandora: A fruity night out in Manchester

The celebrations of Manchester United's players after they won the Premier League on Sunday were relatively low-key, considering the ruckus at their Christmas party, which was 13 hours long and cost £25,000, with the final score: rape allegations, one; arrests, one; prosecutions, nil.

Paperback: Made For Each Other, by Bronwyn Cosgrave

Bloomsbury £8.99 (308pp)

Setting the wheels in motion

When she is not studying with The Open University, Penelope Weir cycles across Europe, Australia and New Zealand for charity. Rebecca Ford reports

My Greatest Mistake: Sandra Boler, editor of 'Brides' magazine

'There I was, a 20-year-old, talking about "dual buttock control" as if it was splitting the atom'
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

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If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
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The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?