Arts and Entertainment The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

A painting of the former PM for the National Portrait Gallery tells us much about him

The News Matrix: Monday 8 April 2013

Nine arrested over building collapse

Sssssssshhhhhh he's trying to read: As China prepares for the year of the snake pictures show a zoo owner's remarkable relationship with the creatures

As China prepares to welcome in the year of the snake, pictures have been published showing one zoo owner in the Philippines who has an extraordinarily close relationship with the creatures.

Anti-capitalists including Occupy movement target Parliament

Hundreds of protesters descended on Parliament to air their anti-capitalist beliefs outside the UK's halls of power.

Come on up, the view's lovely: First look from the Shard's public gallery

Visitors taking tours of the Shard will be able to enjoy views of up to 40 miles across London when it opens in February.

Admiralty Arch to become London's next landmark hotel after sale to Spanish investor

With Buckingham Palace and the Mall stretching out below its westerly windows and Trafalgar Square doing the same to the east, London's Admiralty Arch has an unrivalled view into the heart of the nation.

Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, wants to write a prequel

Before Downton? Not so abbey ever after

Julian Fellowes wants to write a Downton prequel. Why not march forward to the septic Seventies? John Walsh offers his plot suggestions

Shelagh Fogarty: A feast of humanity, talent and plain old grit

The last time I was in the same village as thousands of disabled people was on Easter Monday a couple of years ago. It was Lourdes in the South of France and there wasn’t much sport going on but, as I prepare to cover the Paralymic Games from London for BBC Radio Five Live, I suspect the two experiences will have something in common - and I don’t mean miracles.

Prism by Keiichi Matsuda at the V&A during the London Design Festival 2012

Heads Up: London Design Festival

They're putting what in the middle of Trafalgar Square?

Tom Sutcliffe: When there are a few too many stereotypes on the streets of London

I visited New York and found, to my great delight, that the city really did feature large chimneys funnelling steam out of the pavement.

Hubbard's Cupboard: At least this time they are not shooting live pigeons...

The man with incredible tales...

The five circles of transport hell?

i writers battle London's Olympic restrictions – and each other – to cross the capital

The Big Dance bus stops in Islington, north London

Big Dance, Multiple venues, nationwide

Singin', and dancin', in the rain ... just Gene Kelly and me

'Peep show' at National Gallery inspired by Titian

A classically-inspired peep show has been set up in the middle of the National Gallery.

Cutbacks see scaled down London Gay Pride

A funding shortage has resulted in a scaled down version of London's Gay Pride event taking place today.

Boris Johnson 'broadly positive' over London Grand Prix plan

London Mayor Boris Johnson gave qualified support today to bold plans by Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone for a London Grand Prix.

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Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
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Kelly Brook
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The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
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Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
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techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
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Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Career Services

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
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering