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
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Career Services

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
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little