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.

An inspiration to a generation of British producers: Grant (left) with Scott Walker in 1970

Keith Grant: Recording engineer who worked on many defining albums of the classic-rock era

The recording and production engineer Keith Grant was a legendary character in the British music industry and worked with many of the most popular acts of the Sixties and Seventies, including The Beatles, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, Queen, the Small Faces, Dusty Springfield, Scott Walker and The Who.

All smiles at the US-Vietnam cleanup agreement

The terrible legacy of Agent Orange

Forty years after war ended, Washington begins decontamination of worst-affected areas in Vietnam

Michael Phelps collected the 17th Olympic gold

Phelps flies to 17th gold and makes a mockery of all the early doubts

His work here is nearly done. Michael Phelps won his 17th gold medal, and last individual, last night with a swim that characterised every detail that has made him an Olympian like no other.

The ceremony ached with cleverness, wit, and subversion

Chris Blackhurst: There's nothing remotely 'leftie' about celebrating immigration and the NHS

Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony was dismissed as 'leftie, multicultural crap' by right-wing Tory MP Aidan Burley. Chris Blackhurst, who was there, insists nothing could be further from the truth

Police found a weapons arsenal at the home of James Holmes

Gun sales soar in Colorado in wake of cinema killings

Citizens rush to arm themselves as public paranoia sparks incidents in other states

China's capital is shaken by the heaviest rain in six decades as it leaves 37 people dead

Even Beijing can't hold back the tide

As China's flood-ravaged capital dealt with the aftermath of the heaviest rain in six decades, including the deaths of 37 people, questions were being asked yesterday about whether Beijing's push for modernisation came at the expense of basic infrastructure such as drainage networks.

Family plea after missing teenager Rachel Wilson's body found

The family of a teenager murdered after going missing a decade ago made an emotional plea today as police confirmed they had found her body.

Book of a Lifetime: The Cement Garden, by Ian McEwan

In 1975 Ian McEwan was famous at our school because his short story collection, First Love, Last Rites, was sensationally banned by our doddering headmistress, Miss Gems. After examining a stray copy, Miss Gems set about a full-scale censorship to protect us from what she declared was a shocking, dirty book. Copies were confiscated, detentions issued to those of us who admitted to having read it. We found it hilarious. As a result of the ban everyone saved up to buy a copy.

SimCity Social – Interview with Playfish’s Andrew Mo

Following the launch of SimCity Social we spoke to Andrew Mo, GM of Playfish Beijing, to get the full low down on the latest to rival the all-conquering social networking game that is Farmville.

Police commandos outside the scene of the siege in Karlsruhe

Gunman kills four and himself in Karlsruhe siege

A man facing forcible eviction from his home took four people hostage and shot them dead before turning his gun on himself yesterday after he barricaded himself inside his apartment in the German city of Karlsruhe during a police siege of the building.

Torn posters of the presidential candidates Mohamed Morsi, left, and Ahmed Shafik adorn a wall near a polling station in Cairo yesterday

Egyptians stage mass boycott of presidential poll

Observers say turnout may only be 15 per cent as youth groups mobilise against the poll. Alastair Beach reports from Cairo

Invisible Ink: No 128 - Pamela Hansford Johnson

By the start of the 21st century it seemed that readability had become a liability; surely award-winners lacked complexity if their books were too accessible? Happily this attitude is now passing, and lucid writing is once more being recognised as a desirable literary trait, which may partly explain why Pamela Hansford Johnson's work is coming back into print (the other reason is that ebooks provide an affordable route to republication).

Twelve killed as Syrian troops shell Damascus suburbs

Syrian government troops shelled suburbs of the capital Damascus, killing at least 12 people in a stepped-up regime offensive on rebel areas around the country, activists said today. 

Kenyan minister George Saitoti's death in helicopter crash fuels terrorism fears

The architect of Kenya's military campaign in Somalia and a leading presidential candidate for next year's election has died in a helicopter crash in the hills outside the capital, Nairobi.

Hedge Britannia: a curious history of a British obsession, By Hugh Barker

Barrier, border, habitat, evergreen history – a rich past dwells inside your humble hedge.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
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