Arts and Entertainment

Of all the subjects for a thrilling tale of espionage, war and diplomacy, ping-pong seems an unlikely contender. All the more intriguing then is the story behind a détente between America and China in 1971, which occurred seemingly out of the blue after 22 years of hostility.

Herb Snitzer: Jazz gold (in monochrome)

When he was asked to photograph the great tenor saxophonist Lester Young in New York City in 1958, Herb Snitzer was just a young man with a camera.

Business Diary: Lloyds group bags former UKIP man

Lloyds Action Now, the pressure group that wants compensation for shareholders who have lost out due to the bank's takeover of HBOS, got a few headlines yesterday with its announcement of test cases against the Bank of England and the Treasury. But the Diary thought Adrian Lithgow, the group's spokesman, looked familiar. We were right: he is the same Adrian Lithgow who was forced to resign as head of communications for the UK Independence Party four years ago after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment and threatening behaviour. Lithgow got into a row with railway staff at Victoria Station in London, with a Yugoslavian member of staff suffering some particularly unpleasant abuse.

The Millwall reject who has won his country's backing

Matt Jarvis's work ethic saw him overcome failure and reach the England squad. Sam Wallace speaks to those behind his rise

The Sultan of Zanzibar, By Martyn Downer

Funny, fast-moving and astounding, this biography goes way beyond what would be considered feasible in fiction.

The Forsythe Company, Sadler's Wells, London

As avant-garde meets disco, be afraid, be petrified

My Secret Life: Geoff Dyer, writer, 52

My parents are... Jack, a sheet-metal worker and Mary, a dinner lady, then a cleaner. He's 91 and she's 85. We Dyers are tenacious.

Bettina von Kameke reveals prison life through a lens

Some of Bettina von Kameke's images of male prisoners in Wormwood Scrubs jail could have been taken for a prison prospectus. A tidy cell is complete with a TV, desk and photos on the walls; an inmate relaxes on a comfy black sofa in a communal social area with pool tables; prisoners pump weights in the prison gym; others are playing a board game. But perhaps sadder is the face of an inmate peering through the small glass window of his closed cell door, watching other inmates playing ping pong.

Bolton sign Wheater from Boro

New Bolton signing David Wheater has been tipped by manager Owen Coyle to win back a place in the England squad.

Inside Lines: Hearn reveals his table plan for new ball-grabbing showpiece

The ubiquitous Barry Hearn, having scored heavily with darts and given snooker the kiss of life, now has a new sporting squeeze on his arm.

Outside Edge: On the piste, not under the table

If ever there was a sport that combined seasonal drinking with inclement weather conditions, it has to be table-sledging. This new sport was apparently dreamed up by a group of drunk students who became stuck in deep snow in a cabin in the Austrian Alps and decided that their only way out was to turn a table upside down and bomb down the slopes on it. Legend has it that when they got to the bottom, they turned it back over and carried on drinking. Now the Austrian ski resort of Kühtai has just staged the inaugural three-day Table-Sledging Championships. It's not known if the Bolton Mountain Rescue team are intending to enter the event next year but one of their members, Matthew Hailwood, had to be rescued by the North West Air Ambulance on Boxing Day after they had spent the day sledging on Rivington Pike. He sustained serious bruising and had been carried to the bottom of the hill on a stretcher, which came in handy since it was the stretcher that they had been using as a sledge.

David Flatman: Every club should have a mad man

From the Front Row: Whether it's a village idiot or the ones who can't stop smiling, our game is still full of festive cheer

Matt Jarvis: 'Our tackling has been blown out of proportion'

Matt Jarvis, who aims to fuel his England cause at Chelsea today, tells Sam Wallace Wolves are not dirty, just misunderstood

Exit, pursued by a camera: Backstage portraits offer a unique glimpse of stars relaxing at the Old Vic

Aformer stage hand at London's Old Vic theatre, Matt Humphrey, took advantage of his position backstage and asked the actors if he could photograph them in their dressing rooms and behind the scenes. His atmospheric shots of life backstage include a ghoulish-looking Rebecca Hall, as Hermione in The Winter's Tale, standing in the theatre's corridor, while Jessica Hynes holds her leg in a yoga pose in her dressing room before a performance of The Norman Conquests.

Delhi Diary: 09/10/2010

Today

2.30pm England in table tennis final

Paul Drinkhall was the hero for England in yesterday's thrilling semi-final victory against India. They now face a strong Singapore team in today's final.

Career Services

Day In a Page

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
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower