News Fireman Christian McClean comforts colleague Alex Badcock (right) after they both finished the last ever shift at Clerkenwell fire station in London.

There were emotional scenes as firestations across the capital closed their doors

What to do if ... you lose your job

Like many people in the legal, City and financial industries, Lauren Kaye, 33, was made redundant last year. In her case, the news came in August and she has spent the time since working in a very different environment

First Person: 'I can identify 1,000 different scents'

Lynn Harris, professional perfumer, 41

Ricky Gervais: Science, Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

As with Animals, Politics and Fame, Ricky Gervais' new show, Science, bears little or no relation to its moniker; rather, it is an excuse to set the stage as Frankenstein's castle laboratory. Of course, what's in a name if the material is good?

First Night: Ricky Gervais: Science, Edinburgh Playhouse

Two years ago Ricky Gervais shrugged off criticism for a poor performance at the Concert for Diana by making a bold as brass entrance to his Edinburgh Castle show, wearing a crown and sharing the stage with a pair of giant Golden Globe replicas. This year the comedian entered the festival city buoyed by a burgeoning Hollywood career, something that he was happy to wave in our faces with some introductory trailers, one of which featured his new film The Invention of Lying. The message, as ever, was 'look at me I am a big star and see how I ironically bask in that status'.

British Sea Power, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London<br/>The XX, Hoxton Hall, London

British Sea Power make the most of a Shakespearean setting to deliver a brilliant and bewitching history lesson

Hello, Dolly!, Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London

In the bloated 1969 film version of the musical Hello, Dolly!, even the flagrantly opulent sets didn't stand a chance against a screen-hogging Barbra Streisand in the title role. Samantha Spiro, fresh from her turn in Funny Girl has scary shoes to fill as the widowed busybody Dolly Gallagher Levi. She wears them lightly. Small, neat and budgerigar-like, she nips around, sticking her beak into everyone's affairs.

Anti-drugs 'robocop' died from overdose

A police officer known for his work tackling drug dealers was found dead at his home from a heroin overdose.

The Importance of Being Earnest, Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London

Oscar Wilde's trivial comedy for serious people has a pronounced summery feel about it and is not as absurd a choice for the open air as it might first seem. But Irina Brown's revival is a spirited denial of the bosky surround, placing both Algernon's Half Moon Street apartment and the Manor House in Hertfordshire on a white disc with a white ramp and a white grand piano.

Brian Viner: Natural-born winners skip charm school

The Last Word

Much Ado About Nothing, Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London

Much to admire in love's labours

Lisa Markwell: Don't come between fathers and daughters

Laetitia Cash was on course to carry on the family tradition of going into politics

Sarah Sands: Martin Amis &ndash; a very good advertisement for sleep

When truths are revealed by Martin Amis, they should be heeded. Here is an author who has made visionary pronouncements on masculinity, nuclear war and Islamic terrorism. Those who are granted Dalai Lama-style audiences with him feel the frisson of literary enlightenment the moment they cross his varnished oak floorboards and see the view from his light, so light, north London study.

Observations: Film fans will have a whale of a time on Noah's tour

Folk-pop quartet Noah and The Whale are embarking on a 10-date UK tour with a difference. Kicking off on 5 March in Norwich, the Club Silencio Tour promises an evening of film and music that harks back to the music halls of old. The film fanatics say the tour is inspired by the Club Silencio scene in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.

Love's Civil War, Edited by Victoria Glendinning with Judith Robertson

Love's Civil War is a most peculiar record of a long-distance love affair. Elizabeth Bowen met Charles Ritchie at a christening party in 1941. She was 41, a leading light of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy and the celebrated author of The House in Paris and The Death of the Heart. Charming, loquacious, impulsive and confiding, with a gift for witty description and warm friendship, she was a dazzling presence in the literary salons of wartime London.

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