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.

News
Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
World Cup 2014
Sport
Sport
Luiz Felipe Scoalri holds his hands on his head after watching Brazil succumb to a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands
Globo Esporte claims Brazil's football confederation (CBF) not renew Scolari's contract
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
Arts and Entertainment
Getty
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor