Travel Ice queen: Skelton went to Antarctica for Sport Relief

'After two months in Antarctica, a hairdryer felt like a luxury'

My Secret Life: Jay Sean, singer-songwriter, 29

My parents were... my biggest inspiration. I've seen them go through times of extreme adversity, but also have an amazing, flourishing business. They made sure they always raised us right.

Ask the Traveller: New York

James Lawton: Good luck Cantona. Recreating those exciting Cosmos days is one tall task

You may have shrugged, even muttered a phrase not too far removed from, "there he goes again, the big French barmpot," but Eric Cantona may be on to something when he says the challenge of reviving New York Cosmos could prove a wonderful mix of football and art.

Piers pressure: can he be the new king of chat?

It's crunch-time for the former editor's bid to conquer the US

Male model held over partner's death

A male model who had recently been a contestant on a Portuguese reality television show was taken into police custody hours after his companion – a celebrity Portuguese television journalist – was found castrated and bludgeoned to death in a New York City hotel.

Travel chaos continues in snow hit United States

Stranded passengers turned terminals into open-air hotels as they waited for planes to take off and land on plowed runways after a massive blizzard sucker-punched the northeastern US during one of the busiest travel days of the year.

US Senate lifts gay soldier ban

The Senate voted to end the 17-year ban on openly gay troops, overturning the Clinton-era policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."

City Slicker: New York - Bet your bottom dollar on Stateside fun

This city’s hard to beat for some pre-Christmas shopping with sights. Simone Kane offers ideas for new and returning visitors

Dark nights on Broadway

New York theatre is in crisis – with word of mouth so bad that shows are closing even before opening night.

Little Bird Of Heaven, By Joyce Carol Oates

Sometimes referred to as the "Dark Lady of American Letters" Joyce Carol Oates is both admired for her prolific output and criticised for an overly prurient fascination with violence.

Patrick Cockburn: If al-Qa'ida really want to hit the West, they can

International Studies: The original al-Qai'da led by Osama bin Laden did not controlits franchisees post-9/11

Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! The freak show hits 20

As Springer, the godfather of trash TV, marks two decades at the top, here are 10 of his most bizarre outings

Album: Gavin Bryars, New York (GB)

Percussion has long played a key role in Gavin Bryars' work, with a quintet of tuned percussion replacing violins in his first opera Medea, from 1984.

Sister, By Rosamund Lupton

Currently topping the Richard & Judy hit parade, Rosamund Lupton's highly charged domestic thriller centres around the close bond between two highly intuitive sisters.

Military recruiters told to accept gay applicants

The military is accepting openly gay recruits for the first time in U.S. history, even as it tries in the courts to slow the movement to abolish its ban on gays serving openly.

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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape