Arts and Entertainment Once more unto the beach: E4's opening episode of 'Geeks' travelled to Marbella

An E4 show called Beauty and the Geek, used to be a guilty pleasure of mine. Guilty because while I enjoyed the spectacle of paired-up strangers bringing out the best in one another other, I didn't enjoy the reductive labelling or the sexist gender division whereby the "geek" was always a man and the "beauty" was always a woman.

Beaches; Summer madness

This weekend, seemingly all of Spain will descend upon the little town of Benidorm, to reclaim its finest beach from kiss-me-quick Britons.

Election '97: OO7 goes to SNP's aide

Realistic enough at least to know that letters from politicians go straight in the bin, the Scottish National Party has sent its supporters and waverers an appeal signed by the party's best-known overseas supporter, the actor Sean Connery. "Everywhere I go in the world people want to know about Scotland and why we tolerate our affairs being run by someone else's government," says Mr Connery, a resident of Marbella in Spain.

Of swinging voters and spotty boys, Galloway Girl, carnal joy, and the poor old impotent voter on a blind date with Miss X

This is our big democratic moment, right? Vox populi, vox dei. We - the electorate - shall open our mouths and the thunderous roar of our voices shall send the almighty tumbling, OK?

Sun, sea and a strong pound. What more could an expat want?

People & Business

Costa del Sol's image is tarnished by lead

Spain's Costa del Sol, that glamorous haven for criminals on the run, has shown its darker side, with four underworld shoot-outs in just over a month. Following the assassination last weekend of a French couple by hooded gunmen, the Costa del Crime is being dubbed the Costa del Plomo (Lead), and glitzy Marbella, the Miami of Europe.

Paradise lost as prince plans new Marbella

Elizabeth Nash reports on a royal attempt to change the planning rules for the rich.

James Gulliver dies aged 66

James Gulliver, one of the leading Scottish businessmen of his generation, died early yesterday morning, aged 66. His death comes 10 years after the Guinness affair which did so much to damage his reputation.

The thing about... storage

Storage: the very word is un-sexy. It has that deathly ring of solemnity. And yet it's one of those inevitabilities that gradually creep up: one day you buy a pencil case, the next thing you're leafing through catalogues trying to find the perfect way of organising your drill bits.

The mouthy mayor and his mattress boys

Atletico Madrid's owner is no stranger to scandal, writes Elizabeth Nash

Socialist rebels threaten Gonzalez

Leaders of the Spanish Socialist Party, narrowly defeated in the general elections last March, are facing an incipient rebellion in the ranks.

Letter: Feeling good in the Spanish sun

Sir: John Major should take a holiday on the Costa del Sol, because the feel-good factor has been definitely resolved here.

how to make a memorable home video

Home video has a bad name. The very words bring to mind interminable evenings watching footage of the neighbours on holiday in Marbella, or at their daughter's wedding. It is invariably shot with a technique unique to home video: Wobble-O-Vision. And, worst of all, it is haunted by the cackling spectre of You've Been Framed.

Lievin fails drug test


obituaries Henry Tiarks

Henry Tiarks was the third, and last, generation of one of the City of London's merchant banking dynasties. His grandfather, after whom he was named, became a partner of Schroders in 1871 and his father, Frank, in 1902. Both were prominent City figures, the latter a director of the Bank of England from 1912. In the Edwardian era, under the thrusting leadership of Frank Tiarks and Baron Bruno Schroder, their firm became London's leading merchant bank.
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all