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Although always in the shadow of the great Morecambe and Wise, Mike and Bernie Winters were British television's other popular comedy duo during the Golden Age of Television. Mike was straight man to the gormless twit played by Bernie, who wore a bowler hat, pulled a toothy grin, grabbed his elder brother's cheek and called him "choochy face". The pair's boisterous, unsubtle, knockabout humour and music-hall crosstalk kept them at the top for 15 years and the professional partnership ended only when brotherly acrimony resulted in their splitting up.

Seth MacFarlane, actor and Oscars host

Seth MacFarlane credited with boosting TV ratings as 40 million tune into the Oscars 2013

Oscar host Seth MacFarlane has drawn criticism for his opening song “We saw your boobs” as well as his tasteless jokes about Jews, race and domestic violence.

Travel guide criticised for the 'all-inclusive gap year'

Communities often resent all-inclusive tourists, who don't contribute to the economy
Hit it off: David Walliams with Simon Cowell

This Briton's got talent: Simon Cowell reveals what it's like to be the most powerful person in pop

One man does more to shape our music industry than any other. As he begins another star search, the svengali talks to our guest editor David Walliams.

My Fantasy Band: Christian Zucconi, Grouplove

Drums - Picasso

I've always wondered what he could do with a pair of sticks.

Jackie Leven, Scottish songwriter and folk musician

Jackie Leven

Further to your obituary of Jackie Leven (17 November), when I was writing a book about the British on holiday, and wanted to include a chapter on cruising, a mutual friend put me in touch with the singer-songwriter, who in his droll Scottish manner told me about his experience as the "entertainment" on a two-week cruise of the Norwegian fjords in 2002.

Plan B, 02 Arena, London

Four years ago, Plan B aka Ben Drew was a mouthy hoodie-clad rapper from east London whose acclaimed debut album offered such odes to the street as the inspired "Mama (Loves a Crackhead)".

Dive in: Staying cool in Palm Springs

Elvis and Sinatra fell in love with Palm Springs – and its iconic buildings and glitzy past mean this Californian desert city still has the power to charm

Lifting the lid on the Rat Pack

They called themselves "The Clan" and "The Summit". The press termed them the "Rat Pack", after the group of roistering friends who had attached themselves to Humphrey Bogart a decade earlier. Bogart and his coterie, which included Frank Sinatra, were never photographed at play. Their successors – Frank Sinatra again, but this time with Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin – were, in private snaps never intended to be published. The images have now been recovered from a cardboard box of negatives found in a photographic agent's office.

Roulette wheels spin for last time at old Rat Pack haunt

There would surely have been water in those ol' blue eyes if Frank Sinatra were still alive today to witness the shuttering of his once-beloved casino, Cal Neva Lodge, for lack of folk at the gambling tables.

Kathryn Grayson: Actress and singer described as 'the most beautiful woman in the history of movies'

The singer and actress Kathryn Grayson was a resident soprano at MGM from 1940 until the early Fifties, her films including the acclaimed versions of Show Boat and Kiss Me, Kate. She was particularly favoured by producer Joe Pasternak, who had moved from Universal, where he had brilliantly handled the career of Deanna Durbin. Grayson's operatic background and training appealed to the producer, who liked to mix classics with popular songs in his musicals.

Album: The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Songs from Lonely Avenue (Surfdog)

Setzer is the Jedwardhairedsinger-guitarist whonot only spearheaded therockabilly revival of theearly 1980s with the StrayCats but also had a majorhand in the big-band jivemovement of the late1990s with his GrammywinningTheDirty Boogie.Nowadays, Setzer switchesbetween Rat Pack croonerand rockabilly rebel, oftenin the space of one line.Simultaneously smoothand raw, one minute it'screpe-soled jitterbug, thenext it's Vegas razzledazzle,and beneath thehorn section's glitzy blarethere always beats abadass heart.

The Benelux rat pack scrabbling for presidency

As history is celebrated on the streets of Berlin today, behind the scenes, another, though more discreet, chapter in European history may also be penned in that same city.

Tim Walker: 'Salad Club takes place in someone's living room and has its own etiquette'

The Couch Surfer: 'The washing up was being done in the bath. This was a delightful quirk rather than irritation'

The magic of Marilyn Monroe

Jazz legend Buddy Greco is auctioning rare photographs of him and the actress taken just days before she died. Andrew Johnson reports

Final curtain for Vegas showgirls

Economic slump brings Folies Bergere to an end
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee