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.

Winter magic in Madeira

As Britain faces another big freeze, Portugal's beautiful Atlantic outpost provides a tempting escape. Emma Gregg gets set for fireworks and festivities

Is this woman Winston Churchill's illegitimate grand-daughter?

Secret adoption in the US at the centre of allegations over a very British cover-up

Andy McSmith: From Churchill to Sir Keith Joseph, we've been in this territory before

Howard Flight is not the first Conservative politician to worry about the wrong people having children. The idea that the welfare state encourages young women with no better prospects to get pregnant and live off benefits is always around, but is seldom expressed so bluntly.

Eileen Nearne: The 'scatterbrained' spy who helped win the war

One of Britain's most-decorated female spies was initially dismissed as "scatterbrained" and "not very intelligent" by her superiors, documents released for the first time today reveal.

Not his finest hour: The dark side of Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is rightly remembered for leading Britain through her finest hour – but what if he also led the country through her most shameful hour? What if, in addition to rousing a nation to save the world from the Nazis, he fought for a raw white supremacism and a concentration camp network of his own? This question burns through Richard Toye's new history, Churchill's Empire, and is even seeping into the Oval Office.

The secret to staying alert? Good genes

People who are able to sleep for just a few hours each night without nodding off at their desks the following day owe their apparently superhuman ability to stay awake to variations in their genes, a study has suggested.

The Week In Radio: Plays that manage to make sense of war

When you think of the impact that the Second World War, which lasted six years, still casts over our artistic output, the cultural response to war in Afghanistan, nine years old and counting, seems muted by comparison. It's not that the war is ignored in news and current affairs programmes. Far from it, it's all over the bulletins. But our general artistic response to it remains patchy. A common device is to channel the unavoidable sense of history repeating itself. As someone said, "it's déjà vu all over again" in Afghanistan, and that was key to an evening of plays on Radio 3.

Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940-1945, By Max Hastings

Finest Years opens with the extravagant claim that "Winston Churchill was the greatest Englishman and one of the greatest human beings of the 20th century, indeed of all time," and then spends 598 pages attempting to prove it.

Veteran comic – and Albania's favourite – Sir Norman Wisdom dies, aged 95

Charlie Chaplin called him his "favourite clown," and generations of British filmgoers would have wholeheartedly agreed.

Contact!, By Jan Morris

Contact! is subtitled "A Book of Glimpses", and that describes it very well. Drawing on a lifetime of travelling, Morris offers a series of vignettes, never longer than a page, sometimes only a paragraph or a sentence. One begins, casually, "When I was hanging about an airfield in Patagonia..."

Statue unveiling to mark Battle of Britain anniversary

The sacrifices of RAF pilots who fought in one of the most pivotal battles in recent British history will be remembered today.

A makeover for a more subdued Oval Office, courtesy of the Obamas

He may not yet have remade America, but Barack Obama has remade the Oval Office.

Will next chapter in Blair's story tell us anything we didn't already know?

His long-awaited book – out tomorrow – is set to follow an age-old template. Promise everything, reveal very little

No Turning Back, By Paul Addison

Having sex is like lying on top of a horsehair mattress". So the boys of King Edward VI grammar school in Lichfield were informed by their biology master at some point in the late 1950s. Among those boys was Paul Addison, who was born in 1943, just after the Beveridge report and just before the Normandy landings. Winston Churchill had talked of the "sunlit uplands" that would come after victory and Addison lived his early life on such uplands.

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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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone