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.

Chile's World Cup qualifier with Lionel Messi's Argentina sparked the row

The best player in the world? Lionel Messi isn't even the best sportsman in Argentina

Boxer and taekwondo fighter beat Messi to Argentina's sportman of the year award

Lionel Messi

It's official: Lionel Messi DOESN'T hold the goal scoring record

Fifa refuse to ratify Lionel Messi's goalscoring record amid challenges from Brazil and Zambia

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi takes goal tally to 88 with Barcelona brace - and has a new record in sight

Following Zambia's claims over the goals in a year record, apparently Brazil legend Zico scored 89 in 1979

English National Ballet dancers perform The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker, English National Ballet, London Coliseum, London

English National Ballet’s Nutcracker is a muted production lifted by sparkling dancing. From stars Vadim Muntagirov and Daria Klimentová through to the corps of Snowflakes, the company dance with warmth and festive spirit.

The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House, London

The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker has a richly traditional air. Snow lies thick on the steeply-pitched roofs of a German town. Christmas tree fairies gleam with gilding, while the tree itself soars upwards, growing magically to Tchaikovsky’s irresistible score.

Chelsea's new manager Rafael Benitez was defiant that he could win the supporters over

I can win over Chelsea fans, says defiant Rafael Benitez following boos

'How many people do you need to write a banner? Just one. Then two holding it,' says Chelsea's new manager

Stone Roses guitarist John Squire's artwork destroyed after studio burns down

The artist's studio in Macclesfield is just yards from his home

As Hurricane Sandy approached, I flew into New York. And I wondered: was this all my fault?

Our columnist reflects on his consistently bad luck with natural disasters. Aren't we all occasionally just a whisker from a major historical event?

Spurs owner tightens his grip on DCD Media with shake-up

The billionaire tycoon and Tottenham Hotspur owner Joe Lewis yesterday expanded his reach into TV and film production as he shook up the board of DCD Media.

The Phantom Army of Alamein, By Rick Stroud

Wartime smoke and mirrors

David Blaine's new electricity stunt

Blaine's back with a new stunt: he will risk being zapped with 1m volts for three days.

Team GB's Rhythmic Gymnastics group perform with five balls

Rhythmic Gymnastics: It's a whole different ball game

Rhythmic gymnastics may seem a glitter-clad oddity but Chris McGrath can only admire the mildly superhuman capabilities of these young girls at Wembley Arena

Bulllet Catch, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Here comes actor and, for the occasion, raconteur Rob Drummond to tell us a story.

Paloma Faith, Somerset House, London

"For all the people with wobbly bits, bingo wings, jelly, beer bellies, flab, and even liposuction where the fat deposits itself in weird places...we shake 'em together tonight." With that strange, joyful announcement, Paloma Faith turns her back to the crowd and hoists up her demure, ankle-length ball gown until it falls just underneath her bum and wiggles her alabaster legs, sending ripples across her pert behind.

Callum McClure, 14, from Guildford, Surrey,
first became interested in illusions when
he was eight and a magician came to his
school. He is planning on graduating to the Magic Circle and travelling to Las Vegas and Hollywood

Hey, presto! Record numbers of children signing up to Young Magicians Club

Children see magic because they look for it, it's said, but more and more of them are determined to practise it as well. Once the preserve of men in tuxedos pulling rabbits from top hats, TV magic is nurturing a new generation who want to get down with the kids.

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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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone