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

Cycling

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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
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The man who hunts giants

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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