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.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Ann Widdecombe and the rise of Strictly Come Democracy

By pretending to make a fool of herself, she ends up making a fool of us

Jungle queen 'may earn £5m in a year'

The pop singer Stacey Solomon could earn up to £5m next year after winning the reality television show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! at the weekend, according to the publicist Max Clifford.

Cornwall: Too stressed by the high life to pull up your duvet? Book in here

Never mind the deficit, there are still people out there who'll pay thousands to rent a holiday home in the UK. Ask Cornish Cribs.

Lisa Snowdon 'on the mend' with viral meningitis

DJ and model Lisa Snowdon is "on the mend" after being diagnosed with viral meningitis.

Chalk Talk: Fair pay for teachers? You do the maths

Small wonder that Education Secretary Michael Gove is keen on performance-related pay. On a visit to Singapore, he found that ministers there have an imaginative way of devising their performance-related pay. They find out what the six highest performing professions are and then look at the six highest paid individuals in those professions. From these 36 salaries, they work out the mean salary and that becomes the Minister's pay.

America dances to the Palin beat

The jury's out on a presidential bid, but Sarah and daughter Bristol have become an inescapable media force

Big names 'paws' for thought

Tracey Emin, John Barrowman, Dame Vera Lynn and Ronnie Corbett are just some of the big names 'lending a paw' to raise money for the Cats Protection feline welfare charity.

Baker in 'One Show' frame

Strictly Come Dancing star Matt Baker has become favourite to take over as The One Show host after Jason Manford quit over his online "flirting" with fans.

Cable to star in strictly Christmas show

The Business Secretary Vince Cable today confirmed his intention to star in a Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing.

Business Diary: Twinkle-toes Vince will lead

If, as seems likely, Vince Cable accepts the BBC's invitation to appear on a Christmas special of Strictly Come Dancing, he will no doubt wow the public – he has been a keen ballroom dancer for years. The best thing about this story so far, however, was the total bemusement yesterday of the two presenters on the American business channel CNBC who dedicated a good five minutes to discussing Mr Cable's appearance. Though the US has its own version of Strictly – Dancing With The Stars – the US Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke, is not thought to be planning an appearance.

Fir and loathing on the Countryfile set

Is the BBC really ageist and sexist? That's the claim at an extraordinary employment tribunal. Cahal Milmo reports

Last Night's TV: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story/Channel 4<br />Misfits/E4<br />Kara Tointon: Don't Call Me Stupid/BBC3

Oh, all right. I wouldn't have got it either. Sad but true: if you had asked me what the national debt was, I wouldn't have been able to give you a figure. If you asked me the difference between that and the budget deficit, I probably wouldn't get it either. Thank goodness it's not part of my job.

BBC2 told to forget chasing ratings and dare to be different

BBC1 and BBC2 are too similar, while BBC4 needs to do more to raise its profile, the BBC Trust said yesterday after a review of the output of the channels.

Amy Jenkins: Why must a woman's sexual capital be the key to her worth?

When it comes to older women in the public eye, it seems only two types are successful: those who do a passable imitation of youth and therefore don't count as old, like Madonna, and those who are honourable exceptions to the rule, like Maggie Smith; the rule being No Wrinkly Ladies on Screen, Please and the exceptions being very rare.

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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
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links