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?
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
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The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
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Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
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food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
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Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
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voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
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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
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn