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.

Go to great lengths: Skirts are longer this season

Whether midi or maxi, skirts are longer this season. So pack up your minis, this look will suit you down to the ground, says Harriet Walker

Editor-At-Large: Two cheers for Miriam, but the BBC won't change

Is former Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly brave or bonkers? Try as I may, I can't see her ageism victory over the BBC as another great leap forward for womankind, or pensioners. Of course, it's terrific that Miriam will receive a full apology from director-general Mark Thompson, as well as a large sum of money. But, as she basks in the limelight following her successful court appearance, will she be asked to present a prime-time programme on BBC1 as a result of her victory over the corporation?

Chalk Talk: How to knock pupils into shape - get them to Come Dancing

It was a nostalgic moment when Ann Widdicombe turned up in Blackpool last week to chair the annual North of England Education Conference. The last time the Conservative MP turned Strictly Come Dancing Star was in town was when the BBC1 show visited its glitzy ballroom just before Christmas.

BBC ageism verdict gives hope to older presenters

Miriam O'Reilly is set for a six-figure payout after losing her job on 'Countryfile' because her bosses thought she was too old

EuroMillions raffle winners sought

A search was under way today for the final two winners of the record- breaking Christmas Eve EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle.

Mary Dejevsky: Of my M4 success and other triumphs

Notebook

The Guest list: Best books of 2010

<i>The Independent on Sunday</i> Literary Editor Katy Guest is proud to present her personal awards. Happy reading...

Leading article: We toast 21 reasons to be cheerful

As a youthful, optimistic newspaper, The Independent on Sunday, which will be 21 next year, offers you, the idealistic but sceptical reader, 21 reasons to be cheerful in 2011.

Matthew Norman: A very clever twit &ndash; and a proud man

By the narrowest of margins Vince Cable's political neck has, for now, avoided being placed in a noose and duly broken

Cable threatens to 'bring down the Government'

The Liberal Democrat minister Vince Cable faced acute embarrassment last night after privately suggesting he could "bring down" the Coalition Government by quitting the Cabinet.

Cable dismisses Tory hopes in by-election

The Tories have no chance of winning next month's key Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable declared today.

Tointon celebrating Strictly Come Dancing win

Former EastEnder Kara Tointon was celebrating today after being crowned winner of this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

Diary: Who will haul Beeb out of post-Hutton abyss?

Against all odds (and we'll come to the betting below), the race to chair the BBC Trust is shaping into a belter. This is not, despite its occupancy by nebbish quangocrat Sir Michael Whatshisname, a trivial post. The winner will be instrumental, for one thing, in deciding who succeeds Mark Thompson as director general, and is faced with hauling the Beeb out of the post-Hutton abyss of cringing cowardice. Paradox attends the two most distinguished candidates. Chris Patten, although a Tory peer, has the confidence and cussedness to resist a Tory-led government. Jonathan Powell, although ineffably New Labour as Mr Tony Blair's long-serving chief of staff, is an archetypal apparatchik whose mission is to speak emollience to power.

7,487th Night: Coronation Street, ITV1

I don't know why they put themselves through it really. It's the actors I feel sorry for – being asked to go live when the nearest some of them have come to live performance will have been in panto.

The Angina Monologues, Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London

Comic queen and friends are on song
Sport
Lionel Messi pictured after reaching the final
world cup 2014
Sport
Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have shone brightest for Argentina and Germany respectively on their way to the World Cup final
Arts and Entertainment
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Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
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Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
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Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
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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
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?