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.

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

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

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

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

Ghost The Musical, Piccadilly, London<br/>A Woman Killed with Kindness, NT Lyttelton, London<br/>Loyalty, Hampstead, London

With the help of some wizard special effects, a notoriously schmaltzy film is transformed into a surprisingly moving show

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

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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect