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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor