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Rolf Harris, the royal artist and television entertainer, has denied sexually assaulting four girls - the youngest aged seven - in a string of alleged attacks said to have spanned nearly two decades.

Album: Patrick Wolf, Lupercalia (Hideout)

Patrick Wolf is perennially tipped for success, but after four previous albums it's questionable whether his idiosyncratic talent – which here combines dulcimer, Ondes Martenot and baritone ukulele with a flamboyant romanticism – will find a niche in mainstream affections.

Tender Napalm, Southwark Playhouse, London

An explosive dose of the toughest love

De Bernières' play that half the audience will never see

It is one of the most common gripes of the theatre-goer – to be stuck behind a column or somebody with a voluminous hairstyle.

Captured! The fox that made it to the 72nd floor

An inquisitive fox was discovered living the high life at the top of the UK's tallest skyscraper.

Simon Carr: The jobs were crushing and the lodgings squalid but it never felt like poverty

I was homeless by definition, sleeping in the office and concealing the camp bed in a filing cabinet

Austin Williams: The "beauty debate" isn’t even skin deep

At a recent architectural debate in south London, the Strata Tower, the landmark building in Elephant & Castle was lambasted for its ugliness.

Firefighters strike again in row over contracts

London's firefighters went on strike again today in a row over new contracts.

Government minister Lord Hill mugged

A Government education minister was mugged as he walked home, it emerged today.

Two men convicted over illegal sperm donor firm

Two men are facing jail after they were convicted yesterday of running an illegal fertility company that gave women access to sperm donors. Nigel Woodforth, 43, ran the operation from the basement of his home in Reading, Berkshire, with 49-year-old Ricky Gage. A jury at Southwark Crown Court, in south London, convicted both men of three counts each of providing sperm without a licence or third-party agreement.

Last Night's TV: Lennon Naked, BBC4<br />Peckham Finishing School for Girls, BBC3

Lennon Naked began with a splash – a late-period John in what appeared to be mint condition plunging into the pool of his stockbroker belt mansion to the sound of "Come Together". The device might have felt a little overfamiliar (how many times has the off-the-peg transcendence of an underwater shot been employed in such things?), but it was all but impossible to resist the jolt of that music – a cameo appearance by the real thing in a drama that was largely going to be a triumph of similitude. Even more reassuringly, Robert Jones's script instantly showed that it had got the weight of Lennon's wordplay. A jump cut deprived us of the final resolving cadence of the song and plunged us again, back to Beatlemania, as John and Brian Epstein made a scrambled getaway down a fire escape and John demonstrated the rasp of his wit. "Kiss 'im," he says as fans beg for contact. "'E's never been kissed by womankind... or unkind." And the joke scrapes close to unkindness itself, a teasing poke with just enough thrust in it to hurt, but not enough to make the malice deniable should things turn nasty.

As one teacher is cleared of pupil assault, another tells of her life sentence

Court case lifts lid on rising tide of violence in the classroom

Close encounters of the excuses kind

Spotting a UFO and colour blindness were excuses given by drivers for not paying parking fines. The UFO spotter said he was so shocked by what he had seen that he drove into a bus lane, as he explained in a parking appeal to Southwark Council, south London. Another appellant said: "I'm colour blind, so I thought the yellow line was green."

The man who plans to tower over London

In two years' time, the Shard will be Europe's tallest building. Its developer, Irvine Sellar, talks to Alistair Dawber

Observations: Who's in the running for the role of God in The Southwark Mysteries?

The actor's ego is a fragile thing. It needs to be cosseted, massaged, given the odd boost from time to time. John Constable, playwright and poet, knows this and has come up with the perfect ruse to attract an A-List star to his new play – he's looking to cast the role of God.

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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
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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform