Voices

Judging by the national mood, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there

Paul Giamatti as Harold Levinson and Poppy Drayton as Madeline in Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Christmas Special TV Review: Christmas at Downton was a bit of a post-turkey snooze

There was a time when the Downton Abbey Christmas special might involve a lady revealing she was up the duff by the chauffeur, or a much-loved character croaking it in a car accident. This year, it was as if, chastened by reactions to their rape storyline, the writers were determined to include nothing even mildly dramatic. If you were looking for a good time to fit in that post-turkey snooze, 8.30pm till 10.30pm was your window.

Photography book review: Pierdom, By Simon Roberts (with an introduction by Francis Hodgson)

Simon Roberts has travelled the coastline of Britain to create a comprehensive and fascinating photographic record of the country’s remaining pleasure piers.

Raging fire devastates New Jersey boardwalk already hit by Superstorm Sandy

New Jersey resort towns were still in the process of rebuilding after Sandy hit a year previously

Costa Brava murder: British man arrested in Spain on suspicion of killing his father

A British man has been arrested on suspicion of killing his father at a Spanish camping site, police said.

About a boy: Liam James with Anna Sophia Robb in ‘The Way, Way Back’

Film review: The Way, Way Back (12A)

Last of the summer whine

End of the piers? Seaside structures plagued by high costs and neglect

Seaside piers across Britain are under threat from rising maintenance costs and rocketing insurance bills, according to new research.

Feet up: Taking the air on a Brighton pier in 1937

Radio review: 4 Extra At The Seaside - Pack my banjo, mother, we’re off to the beach

When working-class Londoners boarded the coach to begin their summer holiday they would have a whip-round, and as they pulled away they would throw coins through the windows to the poorer kids left behind.

Margate is one of Britain’s most deprived seaside towns

Deprived seaside towns to get funding boost

Ailing seaside towns are to receive almost £30m to boost growth, the Treasury has announced today, following statistics showing they suffer from above-average levels of deprivation.

'Abandoned to poverty': Skegness named most deprived seaside town

The birthplace of Butlins, which once attracted Britons from around the country to enjoy its “bracing” weather, is now the most deprived seaside resort in the country. Skegness has topped a list of the nation’s most impoverished coastal towns, in a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Mathew Baynton

My Edinburgh: Mathew Baynton - Why the Fringe is a good place to wear a gimp mask

Yesterday, in Edinburgh, I was walking alongside a lady wearing high heels and a gimp mask. Her, not me. No-one walking past batted an eyelid. She had no flyers in her hand or any evidence of being in a show. I think she’d worked out that Edinburgh in August is a great place to be if you want to dress up oddly and not get funny looks.

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Simon and Garfunkel's The Concert in Central Park

The report, entitled Turning the Tide, called for action to revive the fortunes of seaside towns like Blackpool in Lancashire

'Dumping grounds for the poor': High levels of unemployment, drug addiction and teenage pregnancy leave British seaside towns locked in culture of 'poverty attracting poverty'

Britain now spends almost £2 billion-a-year on welfare payments in once-thriving seaside towns

Great escape: A crash course in summer holidays

School summer holidays are in full swing - but the Great British exodus to the sun is a relatively new invention

Where to go after a September city break in Rome – seaside or countryside?

Q. We are hoping to go to Rome in September for a long weekend. How easy would it be to extend the stay with a few days by the beach or in the countryside afterwards, to combine some culture with recharging the batteries? Claire Allard, Southampton

Eight injured as two trains crash into each other in Norwich

Greater Anglia service travelling at "low speed" hit an East Midlands train parked in station

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones