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?
Arts and Entertainment
Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
Sport
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?