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
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn