Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see? I am at home on a winter morning. It is still dark and the ferry has its lights on as it comes across the water.

Why I Love: Captivating Crimea

Patrick Mercer OBE, politician

Highs and lows of ITV

An ITV franchise was once famously described as a "licence to print money" - but not any more, judging on the gloomy news from the company today.

The lady is returning – and this time she's staying for good

A new portrait of Margaret Thatcher to be unveiled at No 10 today could haunt Gordon Brown in more ways than one

Churchill's tailor makes a high street comeback

In the thick of recession, a historic Savile Row firm that went bust in the Seventies is bouncing back with £3,000-a-throw suits

Joan Bright Astley: Secretary to Winston Churchill's War Cabinet

Joan Bright Astley was a member of that indispensable apparatus of administrators and secretaries who toiled in support of the great military, intelligence and political figures of the Second World War. Churchill and Eden were among her familiars, while she worked with senior generals such as Ismay, Wavell and Brooke. Her job was to set up a Special Information Centre (SIC) for Commanders-in-Chief, a section required by Churchill because, as Prime Minister, he could no longer give time to the regular meetings with top brass which had been his custom when he was First Lord of the Admiralty.

Robin Scott-Elliot: Doyle's sleight of hand no match for Sheringham's Lord Flashheart

View From The Sofa: FA Cup Live and Highlights, ITV1, Saturday

Minor British Institutions: Paxton & Whitfield

The best thing about Paxton & Whitfield is the smell. Like the best cheeses, the best cheese shop has a rather heady aroma, an olfactory precursor of caseophiliac delights to follow. In other words, they sell very tasty cheese, and, for such a posh establishment in the heart of St James's in London, are a friendly, unpretentious lot. It has plenty of royal warrants, and was a favourite of Winston Churchill, who once said that "a gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton & Whitfield". Indeed so.

Age scene: 'The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp'

A life spent longing for a woman he will never hold for long

Black history to be taught in school as part of curriculum

Radical changes to the secondary school timetable will be introduced next week when England's three million secondary school pupils return to the classroom.

Leading article: The brain needs quality time

So much information; so little time to absorb it. It's the lament of the age and was the gist of Barack Obama's overheard advice to David Cameron at the weekend, inadvertently picked up by an ABC News microphone.

Barack and Winston: both going all the way for Mom

Senator Obama's absent father and ambitious mother - "certain of her son's destiny" - bring to mind a formidable political precursor, says Anne Sebba

Dandy in the Underworld, By Sebastian Horsley

"If you can't brag about doing something well," says Sebastian Horsley, "brag about doing it badly. At any rate, brag." In this memoir he takes his own advice to heart. He brags about failing his French O-level, getting kicked out of art college, covering himself in his own excrement, being a useless painter, drinking himself into insensibility, getting buggered by the celebrity criminal Jimmy Boyle, becoming a crack addict, and having sex with hundreds of prostitutes and an inflatable doll. He recounts his worst humilations with a relish that makes Rousseau's Confessions seem the epitome of coyness. You certainly can't fault the book for lack of incident. The climax, in which Horsley's vanity and masochism converge, is when he has himself crucified in Manila.

James Delingpole: Dave's centrist hair is no electoral stunt. It's vanity

Shortly after his party's stunning victory in the Crewe by-election, I can exclusively reveal, Dave Cameron was summoned to a top secret strategy meeting by his balding, crop-headed guru Steve Hilton.

The Jamaica Inn: Dream come true

For the ultimate romantic Caribbean hideaway, Emma Wilson follows in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe and enjoys the timeless elegance of Jamaica Inn

Smoking? It's seriously good for the Treasury, Macmillan told Eden

Puffing away on his briar, Harold Macmillan appeared every inch the avuncular, dependable politician of the age. Indeed, from Winston Churchill to Harold Wilson, smoking, whether it be cigar or pipe (though rarely cigarette) was seen as an invaluable prop for leading political figures emerging into the television era.

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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine