Arts and Entertainment What a racket: Conor Woodman in 'Scam City'

It's not just that the National Geographic documentary series Scam City is a pointless programme, it's that it's also a uniquely irritating one. Whereas most consumer watchdogs investigate scams at the instigation of aggrieved parties, in Scam City presenter Conor Woodman, travels the world looking for trouble and – what's more pitiful – often fails to find it.

Simon Slater as Derek in Bloodshot

Bloodshot and Tell Me On A Sunday, theatre reviews

St James Theatre, London

Credo: ‘Shawshank Redemption’ director Frank Darabont on potboilers, the immigrant experience and why he yearns for the ocean

I’ve always tried to pursue the things I’m most passionate about You have to follow your heart. That’s why I’ve written and directed [new TV show] Mob City [based on John Buntin’s book LA Noir: The Struggle For the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City]. I’ve always loved film noir, the potboiler aspect, the fact that everyone has an angle, a secret, and that the heat is always being turned up under the kettle.

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown offers his opinion on Manchester United 'target' Ryan Gauld

In conjunction with BT Sport's Life's A Pitch, we put questions from readers of The Independent to the former Scotland manager

Martin Freeman as John Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock series 3: Nearly 10m tune in to watch series three opening episode

The first episode of series three generated more than 300,000 posts on Twitter

What a card: David Blaine (right) entertains Will Smith and family in ‘Real or Magic?’

David Blaine: Real or Magic?: TV review - Blaine gets up to his old tricks and shows the stars he hasn't lost his magic touch

Last night, David Blaine – a man with so much warmth of personality that he turned citizens of one of the most sophisticated cities on the planet into turd-flinging zoo bonobos simply by sitting in a glass box – posited an interesting question. If all of the United Kingdom is watching Sherlock on the other side, then does anyone care what Blaino is up to?

Benedict Cumberbatch in the new season opener

Sherlock 'The Empty Hearse' review: So, how did the great detective fake his own death?

A thoroughly satisfying season opener

Invisible Ink: No 204 - Ghost writers

Remember the odd history of Virginia Andrews? Her Flowers In The Attic novels began appearing in 1979 and became surprise best-sellers. They were airless, claustrophobic works about four siblings locked in an attic in order to gain an inheritance. The incestuous melodramas appealed to teenaged girls, so when Andrews died in 1986 she was replaced by a ghost writer called Andrew Neiderman, who penned more than 40 further volumes in her name. They did so well that her estate kept her alive and earning, the Inland Revenue Service cannily arguing that her name was still a taxable asset.

Fiddler crabs: During mating displays, the males stand beside other males who have smaller claws to make their own claws look bigger

Just like that! Meet Mother Nature's magicians

Animal illusionists trick predators, win mates, even disappear – and there are more of them than we thought, says new research

A mad scramble by bargain hunters in one of the capital’s biggest

Online shopping ‘comes of age’ in time for Boxing Day as millions make most of the sales

Up to 118 million visits to UK retail websites estimated to have been made on each of Christmas Day and Boxing Day

A bin of corks used as evidence in the trial of wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan

US wine dealer who made $1.3m by selling ‘vintage’ stock made in kitchen facing up to 40 years in prison

Renowned seller made fortune from bogus bottles sold to rich American collectors

Steve McClaren’s failure convinced the FA that radical change was needed
Actor Patrick Robinson and his dance partner Anya Garnis have left the competition

Strictly Come Dancing 2013 semi-final: Patrick Robinson loses to Natalie Gumede

The Casualty actor and his dance partner Anya Garnis have left the competition

Thieves burgle home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu while he attends Nelson Mandela memorial service

It is the second time Archbishop Tutu’s home has been raided in less than four months

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before