Arts and Entertainment Nathan Filer, winner of the 2013 Costa Book of the Year

33-year-old upsets the odds with his novel 'The Shock of the Fall' - the story of a teenager's descent into mental illness

Angela Gheorghiu/Marius Manea/Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall

For anyone wondering what on earth the Overture to Leonard Bernstein's Candide was doing at the start of this bizarre, rag-bag of an evening (there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for its presence) might I suggest that the inference may have been that "in the best of all possible worlds" (to quote Voltaire) Angela Gheorghiu would have been singing more than two (yes, two) arias in the official programme with two more tired old chestnuts added as encores.

Party Of The Week: Man, what a great evening...

The great and the good of the literary world congregated in the old library at London's Guildhall for a party – before the announcement of this year's Man Booker prize later that night.

London Sinfonietta, Kings Place / Division Lobby, South Bank Centre

The Kings Place electro-acoustic weekend opened with a potential killer-question from its presenter Robert Worby: was it not high time we stopped talking about ‘electro-acoustic’ music altogether?

Party Of The Week: A good Eye for a party

Arriving in torrential rain, the Doo-Wop pop star VV Brown sported a spectacular Busby for the Love London party at County Hall, where she performed live on Tuesday night. Held on the South Bank in the shadow of the London Eye, which hosted the event, the party celebrated the launch of its 4D Experience, at its bespoke in-house cinema.

A gentile voice that's set to trigger some heated debate

Martin Bright is the first non-Jew to be political editor of the Jewish Chronicle. He talks to Ian Burrell

Win a 'dinner in the sky'

If the idea of sipping wine while dining 200ft up in the air appeals, then read on.

Dinner in the Sky may sound outlandish but it's gathered quite a following and, in a collaboration with California-based wine producers Ravenswood, it's in the UK on Saturday dangling from a crane above London's South Bank.

How We Met: Gillian Greenwood & Melvyn Bragg

'He's got this buccaneer spirit that the general public don't ever get to see'

Chris Schuler: Tales on the riverbank

All this week and next, the London Literature Festival is taking place on the South Bank. Whereas festivals held in smaller places such as Hay or Cheltenham generate a sense of excitement because they take over the whole town, London’s festival tends to get a bit lost amid the cultural cornucopia of the capital. Which is a shame because, as literary festivals go, it’s up there with the best of them.

Phedre, National Theatre, London

Since she last appeared at the National six years ago, Helen Mirren has become a dame and played the Queen. So she's no stranger to the purple in Jean Racine's great classical 17th-century tragedy about a dysfunctional royal expiring with incestuous love for her stepson.

DJ Taylor: Middle-class mania

The bruising legacy of the 1970s; Dan Brown gets the Potter treatment; why we watch SpongeBob SquarePants; and how a king's death imperilled Cromer FC

Terence Blacker: TV shouldn't exist to treat us like idiots

So it was true, what the champions of multi-channel television told us. One day, they said, the variety of programmes on offer will herald a bright new dawn of choice. It will be incomparably easier for viewers to plan their evenings. How right they were. Viewing selection is certainly a straightforward matter these days. One looks at the list of programmes on offer, and quickly reaches the conclusion that there are better things to do than sit in front of a screen, having one's intelligence insulted.

Boyd Tonkin: A Polish path from past to future

The Week In Books

JS Bach: The Miracle at Coethen, South Bank Centre, London

One advantage the Barbican and South Bank Centre have over other venues is flexibility, and their 'total-immersion' seasons represent the best possible use of that freedom.

'South Bank' under threat as ITV's revenue streams run dry

Broadcaster's flagship arts programme could lose out to 'The X Factor'. Matthew Bell reports
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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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'

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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

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project