Sky Arts' random-presenter-generating machine has thrown up an interesting pairing to front their new television competition show. Portrait Artist of the Year will be presented by veteran broadcaster Joan Bakewell and that er... renowned expert in fine art Frank Skinner. It's Bake-Off, but with painting, because apparently there is no hobby or artistic pursuit that won't do as the basis for a TV talent competition. Whatever next? A show about competitive stamp collecting presented by Kerry Katona and Alan Yentob? A taxidermy tournament with Mary Beard and Peter Andre? Let's hope so, because on the evidence of last night's episode these marriages of high and low culture can be surprisingly successful.
Find out what our critics said about each of the shortlisted novels
Writers of all nationalities will now be able to compete for the prestigious English-language literature prize
British authors say award will lose its distinctiveness and new talent will be ‘crowded out’
Novelist Julian Barnes has opened up about the pitfalls involved in writing about sex.
The Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell and his wife have co-translated an acclaimed book, written by a Japanese child, about his experience of growing up with autism.
Hilary Mantel is favoured to become the first woman to win the coveted Man Booker Prize for fiction twice, with her historical novel Bring Up the Bodies ahead of Will Self's Umbrella in the bookmakers' rankings.
Gabriel Byrne is set to star in a series of crime thrillers based on novels by Booker Prize winner John Banville.
Nina Bawden, the author of 48 books including the children's story Carrie's War, has died at the age of 87.
I have been confused with Kate Moss Not if you were to look at me, but before [her award-winning 2005 novel] Labyrinth, journalists would ring up the Orange Prize [which Mosse set up] and say, "Can I speak to Kate, and will she talk about anything at all?" Eventually, after further discussion, they'd say, "But will she talk about Pete Doherty?" I'm absolutely fine with it; it's only really sad for the taxi drivers who come and pick me up – when they see it's me, their little faces fall.
In north London, book-lovers have put David Cameron's Big Society into practice. And nationwide the issue has struck a chord
Andrew Miller emerges triumphant after support for biography divides the judging panel
From modest beginnings it has become one of the biggest literary festivals on earth. This year the roster of big names talking about their work includes Michael Ondaatje, Tom Stoppard, Richard Dawkins, Annie Proulx, Hari Kunzru, Shashi Tharoor and William Dalrymple, the festival's co-director.