Arts and Entertainment

Something strange happened while I was watching the new series of US legal drama The Good Wife (More4) this week. I found myself humming the theme tune from Australian soap opera Home and Away. It was my unconscious mind's way of serenading new addition to the cast, Melissa George.

'We're on the fillet steak every night': The Royal Marines being put up in a Holiday Inn hotel because there's no room in the barracks

Royal Marines are being put up at taxpayers' expense in a Holiday Inn just four miles away from the base where they were posted

Edinburgh can't afford to ban its sauna sex trade

Not everyone is fond of the world’s oldest profession. But that doesn’t give Scotland's new consolidated police force the right to sweep thousands of individuals under the rug

Facebook and Twitter top twenty: The Independent stories you've been sharing this year

From drunken nights out with a llama to testicle-eating fishes, it’s a mixed bag of stories you’ve been sharing on social media in 2013.

Among the top twenty Independent articles you’ve been tweeting and posting on Facebook this year, there are serious reports, ferocious comment pieces, astounding research and a fair few articles that pay tribute to the adage ‘the truth is stranger than fiction.’

Postcard from... Malmo

Attitudes to nudity are somewhat more relaxed in Sweden than here at home – as I found out earlier this week in Malmo.

To heat or not to heat: How much is too much central heating for student houses in winter

Nothing causes more arguments. So how much should you have the heating on?

The Big Six: Nordic retreats

Northern Lights, rustic rooms, viewing bubbles, canvas walls, saunas and luxury domes

The 10 Best British spas

Pamper yourself into blissful oblivion before the festive season arrives in this selection of the finest spas in the country

Devon Alexander lands another blow on a struggling Lee Purdy

Boxing: Lee Purdy can't make either the weight or a title fight of it

Late stand-in comes up short as his conqueror looks to take on Khan

As cardinals gather to elect Pope, Catholic officials break into a sweat over news that priests share €23m building with huge gay sauna

A day ahead of the papal conclave, faces at the scandal-struck Vatican were even redder than usual after it emerged that the Holy See had purchased a €23 million (£21 million) share of a Rome apartment block that houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna.

And ... relax: the Siam Spa

When at Bohemia get set for rhapsody

Room Service: Bohemia Suites, Gran Canaria

If you value your life, move away from that thermostat

How to keep warm this winter.

St Georges Hill, the private residential estate in Weybridge where Alexander Perepilichnyy rented a house

The exclusive gated community in Weybridge where Alexander Perepilichnyy lost his life

Ringed by fences, electronic gates, CCTV cameras and a  24-hour contingent of security guards, St George’s Hill in Weybridge, Surrey, is one of Britain’s most exclusive and secure private estates.

Two men die after collapsing at Pleasuredrome sauna in London

Two men have died after collapsing in a sauna near Waterloo station in south London.

The “Long Way Down” Gondola Kitzbühel, Austria or Whistler, Canada

The Big Six: Great gondolas

The 10 Best British spas

The perfect places to have a relaxing soak

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New documents from the late Robin Williams' estate stipulate a restriction on his image, or any likeness of it, being used until 2039
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Chelsea
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people Ex-wife of John Lennon has died at her home in Spain
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Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
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Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
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Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
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Ross Barkley
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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
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?