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While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

Mr Bean, Michael Fish and Jerusalem: Is this the Britain that immigrants know and love?

Jonathan Brown watches the Olympic opening ceremony with a group of Congolese refugees and asks what they think makes Britain great

Hugh Laurie - comedian, actor, now musician - on stage

Hugh Laurie & The Copper Bottom Band, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Marilyn Manson, Brixton Academy, London

He's an English actor who's as authentically bluesy as a game of cricket – but Hugh Laurie does a great impression of an American roots original

View of Berwick town from across the river

A foot in two nations along the Tweed

Criss-cross between England and Scotland on this scenic Northumberland walk, says Mark Rowe

Tory party chairman, Baroness Warsi

Diary: Ukip's Tory defectors could be thorn in the side for PM

The UK Independence Party has more reason than any other to complain about the British election system: despite winning 900,000 votes at the last general election it has no MPs. In the European Parliament, which is elected by proportional representation, the party has a dozen MEPs.

Philip Hensher: Of Blackadder and white women of a certain age

There are voices out there which traditional media neglect through their age, ethnicity, culture, sexuality

Griff Rhys Jones: 'We tried to write a sitcom together - I was hopeless, but we had the jolliest of times'

How We Met: Christopher Luscombe & Griff Rhys Jones

'We tried to write a sitcom together – I was hopeless, but we had the jolliest of times'

Atkinson out of hospital after supercar crash

Actor rowan Atkinson left hospital in a wheelchair yesterday after crashing his high-performance sports car.

Actor Rowan Atkinson was injured in sports car crash

Actor Rowan Atkinson left hospital in a wheelchair today after crashing his high-performance sports car.

Official royal wedding list released

The full list of confirmed guests attending the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was released by Britain's monarchy today.

Oil spike may force rate rise, Bank deputy warns

The Bank of England may be forced to raise interest rates if commodity prices continue to rise, the deputy governor, Charles Bean, has warned.

Greg Davies: Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog, Pleasance Courtyard

As part of the successful sketch group We Are Klang, the stout figure of Greg Davies often joked that he looks like "a fat Rik Mayall". Now flying solo it transpires that Davies's verbal flourishes could equally be likened to Mayall's character Lord Flashheart in Blackadder, and indeed to Blackadder himself. As he is aged 40, it's little wonder that Davies's style owes something to the voices of early to mid "alternative comedy", the Ben Elton era, but that doesn't mean that the 6'8" comedian isn't down with the kids. He used to teach them after all, both in real life and as Mr Gilbert on the E4 comedy series The Inbetweeners.

Rural neighbours condemn comedian's modern home plan

Comedian Rowan Atkinson divided opinion with plans to build a futuristic home in the middle of the countryside.

David Flatman: My Blackadder accent is mocked but cunning plan now is to rest

A meaty, fun tour rounds off a long, hard season – and smiling at the haka is a perfect way to bow out

IRB to seek solution to rising injury toll and excessive kicking

Rugby's governing body to host conference in Dublin next month in attempt to address major problems afflicting the sport
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing