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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before