Arts and Entertainment

Despite my obsession with Game of Thrones and Lucy Worsley’s The First Georgians right now, I am still televisually smitten with MTV’s Catfish. The show that exposes online love fraudsters. The throwaway youth TV show that one’s mind just cannot throw away. Instead, one sits post- episode genuinely saddened that our human need to love and be loved is so destructive. Or that  the earth’s supply of gullible optimists may well be infinite.

A Christmas present to remember

Forget spray-tanned mini Kardashians, the idea behind the treatments at the spa I took my sister to is to teach teenagers about their skin, and how to be comfortable in it

Book review: No Sex in the City, By Randa Abdel-Fattah

Abstinence makes a heart grow fonder

Those Sex And The City girls have sent pubic lice to the land of extinction

Thanks to hair removal, the world pubic lice population is dwindling fast and the insects are in danger of disappearing forever

Sex and the City was good for many reasons

Sex and the City credited with ridding the world of pubic lice

'Brazilian' bikini waxing cited as precipitating decline in cases of the ancient pest

I'd stop watching TV, but I've got all these programmes to catch up on

A nice, meaty box-set will always trump a dissertation. Face it, says, Eleanor Doughty, we're never going to escape the flickering lure of the screen...

Inside the Big Brother house 2013

Big Brother 2013: Day one in the BB house

A heavily tattooed glamour model, a former male escort and a woman who runs a "gold-digger" website are among the bunch of housemates who tonight began a stint on TV's Big Brother.

Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird of Youth at the Old Vic theatre

Sex And The City's Kim Cattrall says she's coming to terms with taking 'older women' roles

Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall says she has come to terms with taking on "older woman" roles as she prepares for her latest West End part.

Candice Bushnell's new novel has been leaked online

Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell’s new novel leaked online by celebrity hacker Guccifer

The first 38,000 words of an unpublished novel by Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell has been leaked online by a hacker.

The reign of the cupcake may be at an end

Baking: Shares in cake frosting go cold

In great news for patisserie purists and weight watchers everywhere (but a potential catastrophe for fans of icing): the cult of the cupcake may at last be coming to an end.

The latest New York TV phenomenon is, of course, HBO’s Girls which is drawing fans of Lena Dunham’s quarter-life crisis

Tourism: The Girls girls' new TV tour

Despite a lot of its most famous shows (Friends, Seinfeld, Taxi) being filmed in warehouses in Los Angeles, New York City has made the most of its use as a setting in TV and films. Or, at least, entrepreneurial locals have done. Kenny Kramer (Larry David’s ex-neighbour, the “real” Kramer who inspired the character) offers weekend tours of famous spots from Seinfeld.

Sex and the Citadel, By Shereen El Feki

This survey of sexual habits across the Arab world is as serious-minded as it is entertaining.

An American Christmas: Why are we sacrificing British traditions for a yankified yuletide?

Candy canes a-plenty and silver lanes aglow; Christmas is undergoing a transformation, but it's not too late to stop it

1. Sarah Storey – Britain’s first gold: British cycling has become this country’s most reliable sport and, sure enough, on day one the host nation’s first gold arrived in the Velodrome. And if the paracycling team had one utterly reliable rider it was Storey. Gold No 1 was never in doubt and neither were numbers two, three and four. A lesson in track and road cycling from arguably Britain’s greatest Paralympian

Sarah Storey: It's a massive surprise there are three Paralympians nominated for Sports Personality of the Year

I was shocked to be nominated for Sports Personality of the Year And it’s a massive surprise that we’ve got two other Paralympians nominated too [swimmer Ellie Simmonds and wheelchair racer David Weir]. Ellie’s career had a similar start  to mine [the 18-year-old Paralympian won two golds at each of the past two Paralympics] but although I had five medals by the time I was 18, I was unheard of. The previous five Paralympic Games I was involved in went under  the radar – this was my sixth. So that difference is an easy way to measure how far we’ve come [with disabled sport].

‘Girls’ is not diverse, not feminist and not empowering

Lena Dunham's hit show has been applauded for representing real women - but where exactly is the feminism?

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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us