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.

Bank on a big weekend: The best August Bank Holiday events

Whether you fancy a trip to the sea or a fun festival, our guide has it covered.

A house full of horror

Traditionally marginalised by the big studios, genre films are finally gaining the respect they deserve, says James Mottram

Rebecca Tyrrel: Bongo is Africa's second most unforgettably named leader, after Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan

Who knew that the president of the small West African state of Gabon is called Ali Bongo? If the name might amuse unreconstructed racists such as the late Alan Clark, who once referred to Africa as "Bongo Bongo land", it has a quite different resonance to Britons who remember our very own Ali Bongo. He was born William Wallace in India in 1929. His family returned to Britain when he was seven and William morphed into Ali and went on to become one of this country's best-loved TV magicians, late in his career becoming a respected magic consultant on Doctor Who and Jonathan Creek.

My Edinburgh: Paul Daniels, magician

Even though I love coming to Edinburgh at any time, I particularly love coming in August, when the wonderful madness of the Festival combined with the Fringe turns this beautiful city into a cross between Rio and Disney. Debbie and I had only been here for two days when we looked at each other over dinner and at the same time, with big grins on our faces, said: "Isn't this exciting?"

My Edinburgh: Dave Gorman, comedian

Something odd happens to performers during the Fringe. They lose any sense of perspective. For three weeks they become even more self-obsessed than normal. When you understand what they're putting themselves through it's easy to see why. The financial commitment alone is scary. In order to bring up a show many comics take on debts that would scare Greece. (Maybe that's why they call it the Athens of the North). No wonder we think it's all about us.

Charles Nevin: Brighton's answer to the Sistine Chapel

Start the week...

'We are still playing catch-up with United,' claims Mancini

City manager tries to cool expectations for the season ahead of tomorrow's Community Shield

Diary: Kuttner can rely on Uri Geller and his special powers...

Stuart Kuttner, the latest in a line of News International executives to see the inside of a police interview room, can count on one man for a character reference: that old spoon-bender Uri Geller.

Orville finally takes flight

Remember the little green bird? And his plaintive little song about his flightless state? Well, at last Keith Harris's feathery friend gets his wish

The BlueBook, By AL Kennedy

The Costa Prize-winning novelist AL Kennedy plays some neat psychological games in this disturbing novel – but don't expect to enjoy being deceived

AL Kennedy offers a love story with a happy ending - of sorts

Arifa Akbar talks to the prize-winning novelist about magic and storytelling

99 Days out for the family: Go explore 67-78

Get out into the gardens of our historic houses, which are aiming to keep families occupied with a programme of activities throughout the holidays.

Bananas in pyjamas

Is it comedy, improv, mime? This double act from America is hard to define, but so easy to laugh at, and it has Brian Logan in stitches

Children's Fiction: How to avoid being eaten, and other life lessons

Writers old and new take their readers by the hand to give them a taste of the lives of others
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch