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

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.

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...

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
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
TV
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor