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.

London Symphony Orchestra/ Jarvi, Barbican Hall

The Scandinavians were coming: Nielsen and Grieg had tall tales to tell and Sibelius’s Violin Concerto had promised the über-virtuosic Julia Fischer.

Daughters-in-Law, By Joanna Trollope

Cracks show in flat family portrait

Deborah Ross: Now let's all play at being Sarah Lund

If you ask me...

Album: Britney Spears, Femme Fatale (Jive)

The madder she gets, the more interesting she gets. That ought to be how it works.

Nicklas Bendtner set for swift return after injury scare

Nicklas Bendtner's ankle injury is not as bad as first feared and the Arsenal striker could yet feature in Denmark's Euro 2012 qualifier against Norway this weekend.

The Gallows Bird, By Camilla Läckberg, trans. Steven T Murray

The fact that a reality television show features in Camilla Läckberg's mesmerising new novel will mean little to English readers of this best-selling Nordic writer, but her fellow Swedes might discern a little score-settling. Läckberg was the subject of much unwanted attention when the details of her divorce became headline news in Sweden. The most infinitesimal detail of her private life became a matter of public interest, so that when she began a relationship with a man also very well known in Sweden (a policeman who was the first winner of the Swedish version of the reality show Survivor), the scrutiny was ratcheted up to an even higher level. On a recent visit to Britain, she was bemused when it was pointed out to her that some crime fiction authors here would kill for that kind of attention.

Job losses loom for Atkins staff

WS Atkins admitted yesterday it is cutting staff numbers in the UK after reductions in government spending affected its highways business. The engineer, which works on major construction projects including the London 2012 Olympics site, also said that trading conditions had been difficult in Ireland and Portugal but that good opportunities existed in Scandinavia for its European business.

Robert Chesshyre: Where the inmates call the shots

Ford is straight out of a Carry On film, and about as dated

Mary Dejevsky: Forget about café culture and embrace your inner Viking

It is not just the proliferation of skating rinks. Each time I have visited Scotland in recent years, I have had the impression it has become more Scandinavian

Very cold comfort: Sub-zero snap will continue for at least another week

Britain will have to endure its current cold snap – making this month one of the coldest Novembers in nearly two decades – for at least another week, the Met Office said yesterday.

Leading article: An index of happiness is at least a worthwhile endeavour

It is easy to mock the notion. There is something of a silly frivolity bound up in the word happy

SFA look to Ireland to replace strike referees

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has confirmed he is looking to Ireland for replacement referees after Scottish grade one officials voted to go on strike this weekend.

Robyn: 'I just want to be normal'

She spent her childhood travelling with her parents' avant-garde theatre troupe, and her teen years as a pop puppet – so is it any wonder that Sweden's most idiosyncratic pop star craves simplicity? Hugh Montgomery talks to Robyn about TV talent shows, youth gangs and Lady Gaga

Should under-fives be taught to read and write?

'Learning through play' has long been the key phrase in nursery education. Now, there's concern that a government review could see children pushed into formal lessons too soon.
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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'