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
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 23 January 2015
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness