Sport Louis Smith shows off his Olympic silver medal

British gymnast Louis Smith has put his retirement plans on hold and declared he wants to represent England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year.

Culture Club: Strictly Come Dancing, Saturdays, BBC1

"Ann Widdecombe is up for a laugh and seems to be enjoying herself. She is being very entertaining – light entertainment harms no one."

Howard Jacobson: What has happened to your dignity, Ann?

If you are going to weigh in on matters of religion, you can’t turn yourself into a pantomime grouch

James Lawton: Henson lacks defining quality of a star – belief

As Gavin Henson considers swapping the sequins of Strictly Come Dancing for the red star and crescent moon of the Saracens rugby club, and a possible return to the international fields he was born to inhabit, we can only deplore again some of nature's more slipshod habits.

Williams expects Henson to return for Wales

Shane Williams believes his fellow Wales international Gavin Henson will play Test rugby again.

Henson's return to action imminent after he trains with depleted Saracens

Gavin Henson, still doing his cha-cha-chas in high definition across a television screen near you, took a significant step of the non-dancing variety towards resuming his day job yesterday when he trained with Saracens, in desperate need of a goal-kicking midfielder after losing the former Springbok outside-half Derick Hougaard to long-term injury. "Yes, Gavin took part in our session, and he thoroughly enjoyed it," said Edward Griffiths, the Watford-based club's chief executive, last night.

Gatland breathes fire into his muddy dozen

Wales coach protects most valuable assets - and holds out hope for Henson

Strictly Luhrmann – where he leads, we will follow

He's always a step ahead of the zeitgeist, so what does the influential director have planned next? By James Mottram

Saracens confirm Henson talks

Saracens have confirmed they have made contact with Gavin Henson as a possible solution to their potential problem at fly-half.

DJ Taylor: Affable Ann could show supercilious George a few moves

The Chancellor's curled lip does little to endear him, while Widdecombe's neat footwork and Norman Wisdom's loveable innocence make them hard to resist

The Bargain Hunter: Hot picks at Miss Selfridge

Miss Selfridge launched its mid-season sale this week, with up to50 per cent off selected items until Tuesday 19 October. Visit http://ind.pn/dqiDiE for the full list of savings, with the "hot picks" section (a glorified list of the biggest discounts) well worth a look. When making your order, don't forget that Miss Selfridge offers free delivery on all orders over £80. You don't need a voucher code to take advantage but I thought I'd mention it as delivery charges may alter the way you shop.

The painful reality: no one is watching 'Seven Days'

It was hyped as the reality show which gives power to the viewers. Seven Days, Channel 4's new docusoap, was supposed to point the way to the interactive television of the future.

Terence Blacker: Don't try to be funny with me

There is, I am almost sure, a funny world out there. Prince Charles, Ann "Dancing Queen" Widdecombe, Katie Price, Huw Edwards, Wayne Rooney's vice-girls, the Speaker of the House of Commons: no one could seriously deny that the raw material for a great carnival of comedy is to be found every day in our public life. Yet increasingly we seem to live in post-humorous society in which nothing is funny, particularly if it is meant to be funny. Those who argue that, in a brutal world spiralling ever downwards to perdition, jokes are inappropriate seem to be winning the battle.

Mike Phillips: 'Go on Strictly Come Dancing? No thanks'

The Brian Viner Interview: The Wales scrum-half (aka 'Mr Duffy') has the celebrity partner and lifestyle. But don't label him as another Gavin Henson

Britain finds an export star at last

Sales of British television programmes to the international market have hit an all-time high. Nick Clark reports

BBC staff call off Tory conference strike

The threat of a strike by BBC staff that would have disrupted coverage of next week's Conservative conference was lifted yesterday to give staff time to vote on a new offer from management.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee