Arts and Entertainment John and Sherlock look pensive in 'The Sign of Three'

The third series of Sherlock has become the most-watched drama run in over a decade, the BBC said today.

Peter Falk: Actor famous for playing scruffy TV detective Columbo, a role for which he won four Emmys

Sporting his own old raincoat, bought for £15 in 1967 when he was caught in a shower in New York, chomping on a cigar and driving around in a battered 1959 Peugeot 403, Peter Falk turned Columbo, of the Los Angeles Police Department's homicide bureau, into one of television's most enduring detectives – and certainly the shabbiest.

Andrew Martin: They are clean, intelligent and cuddly. Let's hear it for the rat

A huge rise in its numbers should not stop us giving the maligned rodent more respect

Edward Hardwicke: Actor best known as Dr Watson and as the 'Colditz' escape officer

The actor Edward Hardwicke will be best remembered for his television portrayals of two legends – one real life, the other from classic fiction.

Guess who's coming to dinner?: Tracey MacLeod and John Walsh take the Come Dine With Me challenge

Every week, John Walsh and Tracey MacLeod dish out scorching reviews of Britain's top restaurants. What happened when they cooked for each other?

An Uncertain Place, By Fred Vargas (trs Sian Reynolds)

A detective with his head in the clouds

The Sketch: Yates of the Yard may be a nice man but he's no Sherlock Holmes

"We did a little police work of our own," Paul Farrelly told Assistant Commissioner Yates. "We rang up the News of the World and asked how many Nevilles they had working for them. The answer was – one."

Christopher Hirst: No mystery but plenty of intrigue

David Suchet played Poirot with a twinkle in his eye and a pertness to his waxed moustache

Invisible Ink: No 67 - Robert Louis Stevenson

Yes, we know you had a tattered copy of Treasure Island in your schoolbag when you were 10, you're aware of Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but did you know that the best part of Robert Louis Stevenson's career is now the least remembered?

First Night: Frankenstein, Olivier Theatre, London

Imaginative productions pack a devastating punch

Guy Ritchie's home taken over by squatters

Guy Ritchie's £6 million London mansion has been taken over by squatters.

Don't look back: A hard lesson for stars in love

As another on-off celebrity relationship ends in tears, Rob Sharp reflects on ex-appeal

Ian Holloway: They said Charlie was on his way to Anfield... but he was sat next to me in my office

Despite how wrapped up us managers get in everything that happens on transfer deadline day, I had to laugh at what was on the telly. Sky Sports News treat it like it is the most important day in the history of the world. Ever.

Boyd Tonkin: Ghosts and giants on and off the page

The week in books

Margaret John: Actress acclaimed for her portrayal of the saucy neighbour Doris in 'Gavin and Stacey'

Margaret John came into her own as a comic actress in the part of Doris, the outrageously saucy, octogenarian neighbour in the hit BBC series Gavin and Stacey who propositions the embarrassed young man, newly married, with a lascivious wink and the words, "If you are interested in that sort of thing, you know, I'm very open-minded and discreet, OK?"

Benedict Cumberbatch: Success? It's elementary

His performance as a waspish Sherlock Holmes has been hailed as seminal. Next he's appearing as Frankenstein at the National Theatre. Is he ready for the horrors of superstardom?
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British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
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Frozen out: despite being filmed in Iceland, 'Fortitude' is set further north, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
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