News 'Take two aspirin': Horsley, right, with Leonard Rossiter as Reginald Perrin

A gentleman player assured at both touching sincerity and twinkling comedy, John Horsley was a charming actor with plenty of strings to his bow, who played an adroit second fiddle throughout his 60-year career. A household face on television, he will best be remembered as Doc Morrissey, the quack severely in need of a doctor in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1975), who showed enthusiasm for his work only when faced with secretaries who were feeling a touch chesty, and who prescribed "two aspirin" for anything and everything.

Marine Le Pen is facing the prospect of disappointing results in local elections in March

France's National Front: After a series of political setbacks, it seems Marine Le Pen is not so mighty as all that

After three years of almost unbroken success, the National Front leader Marine Le Pen has begun to stumble in her drive to steam-clean and re-brand the French far right.

The Great Interior Design Challenge, TV review

You may also worry you're not conversant enough in current design lingo to get much out of new BBC2 series The Great Interior Design Challenge. Fear not. The only vocab you needed to enjoy last night's episode was "upcycle". It's a verb meaning "to take a perfectly decent piece of furniture and ruin it by the addition of some old tat you bought at a car boot sale".

Civilians at the site of a car bomb attack in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, north of Baghdad

Series of bombings leave deadly trail across Baghdad

Iraqi authorities say a series of bombings across Baghdad, targeting marketplaces and two court buildings, has killed 21 people.

Arifa Akbar: Some fictional characters are gay. Get over it

I was waiting for the Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas to begin his first UK event this week and, as the audience filed in from the drizzle, I noticed a particular absence in the room. That of women. It was just me until – phew – three others slunk in. Tsiolkas's reading at a Bloomsbury basement bar had been organised by the bookshop Gay's the Word, so the clue was in the title, but I was thrown at first, to be among an audience with shared affinities that reared themselves – fascinatingly – during the discussion.

Michelle Obama

Happy 50th, Michelle Obama. I hope your rules for party etiquette cross the Atlantic soon

Please do not mention Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt in front of the hostess

Sisterland, By Curtis Sittenfeld: Book review - unnerved and entertained by a psychic sister act

Fans never know quite what to expect from a Curtis Sittenfeld novel. Her debut, Prep, was a coming-of-age story set at a New England boarding school. This was followed by American Wife, inspired by the life of former first lady Laura Bush. In Sisterland, she changes direction once again with a richly imagined tale about identical twins with paranormal powers.

Got a New Year's Eve hangover? Call for an Angel

In Kent, you can order a Mummy-style service - if you're willing to pay

A woman working in a Paris bakery has driven away an armed robber with nothing but a broom

Broom-wielding French woman drives gun-toting robber from her bakery

Brave shop worker says a pure ‘rage’ drove her to fight back

Nicolas Anelka appears to make the 'la quenelle' gesture after scoring the first goal for West Brom in the 3-3 draw against West Ham

Furore over Nicolas Anelka's 'quenelle' intensifies after picture surfaces of an unknown man making the gesture outside the Toulouse school where three Jewish children were killed in 2012

The row over the “quenelle” gesture deepened today after it emerged that a picture had been posted on the internet of a man making the reportedly anti-Semitic hand signal in front of a Toulouse school where three Jewish children were murdered.

Indians students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University hold placards during a candle light vigil on the first anniversary of the fatal gang rape of a young woman in a bus

Candlelit vigil held for Delhi bus rape victim, one year on from attack

Students, Bollywood actresses and women’s groups held rallies and candlelight vigils across India on Monday in memory of a young woman whose fatal gang rape on a bus a year ago shook the nation.

One year on: The President and Mrs Obama observe a minute’s silence for the Sandy Hook massacre

US rocked by latest school gun attack in Colorado as America marks anniversary of Sandy Hook massacre

Colorado police ask why a ‘charming, humble’ teenager became the country’s newest student gunman

Eric Brandon jailed for life after shooting teenage stepson Alex Koser dead during row over the volume of his computer games

48-year-old, from Georgia in the USA, was jailed after calling 911 and confessing to the crime

Protesters try to obstruct a lorry making its way down Barton Moss Road

Barton Moss: The latest front line in Britain’s unconventional energy revolution against fracking

Jonathan Brown meets the protesters hoping to create the spirit of Balcombe

The future of sex education: Do students have the answer?

A new student-led organisation is stepping into the breach in an attempt to teach schoolchildren about sex

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'