Arts and Entertainment

Given our national obsession with property prices, Tim Walker’s novel is bound to hit a nerve. His fictional couple, the Manvilles, bought their large north London home at a knock-down price in the 1990s, and it became the key to two aspects of their family life. Jerry, a successful advertising executive, undertook all the original plumbing, electrical and redecoration work; Pen devised a series of popular children’s books, The House on the Hill, whose “cheeky brat with the ridiculous schemes” is modelled on, and named after, her real-life son Conrad: 15 years on, they have done a loft conversion, and divorced.

Nick Clegg and David Cameron at yesterday's Coalition relaunch at CNH Tractors in Basildon

We never promised you a Rose Garden

Their political marriage was unveiled in the grounds of No 10. The second anniversary was celebrated – if that's the right word – in an Essex factory

Red Tractor: Guarantees food is British and legal,
but little else

The 'good food' stamp barely worth the label it's printed on

Red Tractor logo no guarantee of animal standards, report claims

Workers bulldoze the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed

Bin Laden's last refuge is razed in the dead of night

Pakistan brings in the bulldozers to destroy any chance of the spot where the al-Qa'ida leader died becoming a shrine

Ride-on lawnmower pioneer dies in Florida

The man who turned mowing the grass into a multimillion-dollar enterprise has died at the age of 87.

Downton die-hards: Do you know your Countess of Grantham from your Lady Mary Crawley?

The great Downton Abbey quiz

As millions tune in tonight to the last episode of the current series – don’t worry, they’re back next year! – The IoS invites you to form teams and get your fingers on the buzzer for our mammoth quiz.

A Slice of Sandwich: Langer can still laugh about how a journalist cost him the Open

Bernhard Langer was given a lifetime achievement award at the Association of Golf Writers annual dinner here last night. The German then had to listen to a speech by the member of the AGW who is the reason why Langer does not have an Open title to his name. Typically, Langer had the good grace to laugh when reminded about it.

In search of the thing that goes hum in the night

The people of Woodland, Co Durham, are being tormented by a strange nocturnal noise. Jonathan Brown puts his ear to the ground

Gypsies braced for 'war' as bulldozers move in

Britain's gypsies and travellers are bracing themselves for "a state of war" as council chiefs, encouraged by the Coalition government, move to bulldoze the homes of hundreds of people who live on the largest traveller site in the country.

Business Diary: Why investors love a good scrap

War, what is it good for? Making loads of money, according to a study from the Bocconi School of Management in Milan. It has looked at more than 100 conflicts going back 40 years and discovered that, on average, world stock markets tend to perform better when it's all kicking off.

Johnson opts for Tindall as captain to fire up England

The one topic of discussion at the England team base yesterday that had nothing to do with the remodelled red-rose line-out or Dylan Hartley's status as Number One Leper ahead of tomorrow night's Six Nations opener with Wales was the captaincy, awarded to the Gloucester centre Mike Tindall ahead of the Harlequins No 8 Nick Easter. Both men know what it is to play in a World Cup final; both are big personalities in the dressing room as well as on the pitch. In the end, though, it was not a tight call.

Hallogallo 2010, Barbican, London

Motorik still euphoric in a Neu! setting

Last remains of Jarvis to go under the hammer

The last remnants of the rail business of failed engineer Jarvis will be on the block at the InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin later this month. Valuations consultancy Edward Symmons is selling the last plant and equipment and expects to raise £5m to £10m.

Vintage tractor runs over pensioner

A pensioner on a mobility scooter has been run over by a vintage tractor at a country show in Dorchester, police said.

Sport
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Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
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News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
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Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
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Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?