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.

The Weekend's Viewing: Cricklewood Greats, Sun, BBC4
Bomber Boys, Sun, BBC1

Pastiche is a pretty unforgiving form of comedy.

Costa Concordia cruise captain 'overrode computer'

The captain of the wrecked cruise ship which hit rocks off Italy made "an unapproved, unauthorised" deviation to his route, the liner's owners said today.

Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Pyschopath!, Leicester Square Theatre, London (3/5)

Ricky Gervais reminded us recently, as if we'd forgotten, that language can still offend en masse if its use is misjudged.

The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House, London

The Royal Ballet’s Marianela Nuñez makes a delightful and delighted Sugar Plum Fairy. She looks carried away by happiness, hugging herself at the chance to dance for us. She’s the finishing touch on a Nutcracker that opens with rough edges before settling down to sparkle.

Measure for Measure, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

The red-light district of Vienna is one big bondage club in Roxana Silbert's blackly droll and provocative new production of Measure for Measure.

Trail of the unexpected: West Africa

The masons of the Niger Delta city of Djenné are uniquely talented, says Jane Labous

24-hour room service: Seaside Palm Beach, Gran Canaria

While many of the hotels built in Gran Canaria in the 1960s and 1970s could be considered an affliction on the landscape, the Seaside Palm Beach positively embraces its roots. Set on the edge of the breathtaking sand dunes of Maspalomas, the hotel was built in 1975 in the concrete-megastructure style shared by the island's big resorts. However, the hotel was re-designed in 2002 by French architect Alberto Pinto. Step inside and the paean to the Seventies is far more stylish than the daunting, parenthesis-shaped exterior indicates.

Fright Night (15)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Toni Collette, David Tennant

Collected Stories, By Isaac Bashevis Singer

IB Singer emigrated from Poland to New York in the mid-1930s, but this fabulous selection of 47 tales shows that – in imagination – the magician of Yiddish fiction never left home.

Stephen King: The magicians of monetarism have very few tricks left up their sleeves

Developed economies are ending up with economic permafrost, where attempts to kick-start growth bump into economic reality

Nicholas Lyndhurst: 'I wanted to be an actor from the age of eight'

Nicholas Lyndhurst has a bit of a reputation for being private. Just about any tabloid story about him – and there have been a few, given he started acting at the age of 13 – will describe him as "secretive" or "publicity shy". This is what the red-tops would have us believe: that in 1999 he changed his own wedding date in a bid to keep it secret; that he doesn't attend premieres; that he keeps bees – a suitably solitary sort of pastime; that he didn't tell friends and colleagues when his wife Lucy, a former dancer with the English National Ballet, fell pregnant. When his child was eventually born, in 2000, the Lyndhursts wouldn't confirm its gender – and on one early outing, even smuggled the baby out of the house and into a car, completely covered with a blanket. Nicholas Lyndhurst? Oh, very private. Almost obsessively so. Given his reputation, it's a wonder that I'm even allowed to meet him, in person, for an interview. And yet, here he is, in the long, high-ceilinged rehearsal room in London's Dominion Theatre, compliantly turning this way and that for photographs, during a break from rehearsals for Trevor Nunn's production of The Tempest.

The 'best' joke at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, according to 3,000 fans

He is a vitriolic stand-up who screams at his audiences – and today he has something to shout about after winning the best joke award at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas