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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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
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on