Arts and Entertainment Penny Mordaunt MP speaks at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, 2013

The MP for Portsmouth said she would donate her participation fee to charity

Dom Joly: The Mounties always get their phone call

I've finished my expedition to the glorious Okanagan Valley in British Columbia (Canada's California, apparently) investigating Ogopogo, the monster that is supposed to inhabit Lake Okanagan. Don't worry, I haven't gone all David Icke (yet) – this is for my new book, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, and the subject gives me an excuse to visit some pretty interesting parts of the world. Canada was probably a brave choice for a first destination as it is seen as literary Mogadon by publishers. Bill Bryson supposedly wanted to write a book about the country but his publishers recoiled in horror. I love the place – I have a Canadian wife and spend every summer there – and hope to convert as many Brits as possible to the land of the beaver.

Beach Fashion: The heat of the moment

Forget reaching for lazy leisurewear – a trip to the beach is an occasion to warrant a wardrobe of its own, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Susannah Shops: In search of the perfect bikini

It’s that time of year again – the holiday season – marred only by the fact that shopping for swimwear rears its ugly head once more.

John Walsh: What I learnt at the Playboy Club

The Slutwalk business has had repercussions. Men and women have been squaring up to each other all over the place. At a literary salon on Saturday night, a young woman whom I'd never met before waved her cigarette at me and said: "Why do you wear all those rings? Are you gay or something?" to which I replied, "No, I just like personal adornment."

Deborah Ross: Exposing your body to the sun? Get busy...

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Joan Smith: When women cover up, it's what they reveal that matters

Nigella wouldn't be the first woman with a fuller figure to feel uncomfortable alongside young women whose body shapes owe a lot to punishing eating regimes

Harriet Walker: In short, a guide to bare-legged sartorial cool

Keep your shorts well conditioned too – nothing spoils the look like a rumpled crotch or bulging pockets

Hit and myth as Homer hits Hampstead

A couple of years ago, my friend and dramaturg Tilman Raabke asked me to write a play for Theatre Oberhausen in the Ruhr region of German. The idea was to commission five European playwrights with each of us handling a particular section of the Odyssey. I had read the Odyssey as a boy and was always interested in Penelope's suitors. These are the despicable men who hung around her house eating her food, drinking her wine and all the time trying to win her love while her husband, Odysseus, took the long road home. They felt perfect for the stage.

Daisy Lowe's affordable swimwear range

Daisy Lowe has created an affordable range of vintage swimwear.

Leona Gage: Beauty queen who became an instant celebrity after being stripped of her Miss USA title

In 1957, Miss Maryland, Leona Gage was chosen as Miss USA.

Dom Joly: Spot-fixing had the cricket world stumped but not me and my scanner

Weird World of Sport: 'Listen, we need to come to an agreement about what might be occurring in your big game...'

Miss Universe 2009 says her replacement is clear

Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez says it's clear in her mind who'll replace her as the world's top beauty queen.

Ready to Wear: The epilator is historically a fairly violent appliance

Part Two of the ready-to-wear series dedicated to hair: hair removal and, in particular, the removal of hair on the legs.

Gillard's lead vanishes as Australian election nears

Australian labour Party strategists regard Tony Abbott – the mercurial, gaffe-prone Opposition leader – as one of their greatest assets. Indeed, as the election campaign has gathered pace here, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has repeatedly sought to frighten voters by raising the spectre of Mr Abbott running the country.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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