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

Government 'destroying communities' say union leaders

The Government was attacked today for "destroying" communities with its spending cuts and other policies as thousands of trade unionists, pensioners, students and activists took part in the annual May Day celebrations.

Trafalgar Square hosts Easter Passion play

Biblical scenes unfolded in Trafalgar Square today as thousands of people gathered to watch a recreation of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection.

Sport on TV: Bishop channels his energies to answer millions of prayers

There's a new breed of comedian nowadays. From Eddie Izzard running 43 marathons in 51 days to David Walliams swimming the Channel and the Thames, it's not so much stand-up as "I can barely stand up". Bernard Manning and Roy "Chubby" Brown would have run a mile if Sport Relief came calling – except they wouldn't be able to get that far.

Another 'Olympics egg' stolen

A third model egg has been stolen from a pre-Olympic exhibition.

Afghanistan worked the world maps of Turin-born Alighiero Boetti

Alighiero Boetti, Tate Modern, London

The star of Arte Povera is full of bright ideas in a show that winds its way through the human condition and its orderly creations, from postage stamps to vast embroideries

Hundreds in London join day of action to support Arab Spring protesters

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in London yesterday to show solidarity with protesters in the Middle East and North Africa.

Year of the Dragon roars into the UK

Two weeks of celebrations are set to start tomorrow as communities mark the arrival of Chinese New Year.

Stephen Lawrence: How the case breakthrough came

DCI Clive Driscoll was in church to mark the 15th anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence when the breakthrough finally came.

Jacques Rogge , president of the International Olympic Committee, drew attention to the rise of fixing as a threat to the integrity of sport

London Eye: Athletes need to break their silence on curse of doping

There were two significant sporting moments played out in courtrooms in this country this year. One came amid a scrum of international media at Southwark Crown Court on the banks of the Thames in London and resulted in the imprisonment of three Pakistan Test cricketers, the captain Salman Butt, and two of the world's best fast bowlers, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. It shook cricket, a continent and the sporting world beyond.

It's good to walk: the redesigned Exhibition Road in west London is a 'shared space' for pedestrians and cars

This town is big enough for the both of us

I am standing at the junction of two of the busiest streets in central London – High Holborn and Shaftesbury Avenue. In one direction is Centre Point and the start of Oxford Street; in another Leicester Square; to the south-east is Covent Garden; behind me is Bloomsbury and the giant hulk of the British Museum. It's quite a vista. But my view only lasts for eight seconds before the little green man turns red and a herd of black cabs rev their engines.

It's good to walk: the redesigned Exhibition Road in west London is a 'shared space' for pedestrians and cars

Walk on the wild side: Pedestrians could soon be given equal footing with cars

Traditional planning put cars at the centre of our streets but a radical rethink of how modern cities work could change all that.

Dave Gilmour's son loses sentence appeal

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's son lost an appeal today against his 16-month sentence for going on a drink and drug-fuelled rampage at a student fees protest.

Everyone can have a night at Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House has begun embracing social networking to widen its audience, says chief executive Tony Hall

Picture of the Day: Up, up and away for 2012...

Londoners woke up to the sound of music emanating from the skies this morning as seven orchestral hot air balloons soared above the capital, heralding one year to go to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

James Corrigan: Olympic fever? Like many real sports fans I'm immune to the hype and bluster

The Way I See It: To us the Olympics is about athletics, and only about athletics, maybe with a bit of swimming and boxing thrown in

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
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Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
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Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
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Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
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The dress can be seen in different colours
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Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
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Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
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?