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

This week's Critics' Choice

On the agenda: Afghanistan; The Cardboard Book Project; John Alfredo Harris; London Fashion Week; Malaysia Night in London's Trafalgar Square; Party for Pakistan

The real Afghanistan, furniture in Savile Row, plus Facejacker on the charidee trail

<i>IoS</i> investigation: Our patronising approach to 10 million disabled Britons

Most of us say we believe in equality, but how we act suggests differently

Fourth Plinth, St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

Times have changed and there are no kings or generals among the six contenders for Trafalgar Square's empty corner &ndash; but there is a giant rooster, a musical ATM, and England's royal past rendered as a cake

Turkmenistan dictator's golden statue is toppled

A prominent golden statue of Turkmenistan's former dictator has been taken down, further eroding the personality cult around the late leader.

Leading article: Sweet sculpture

Contemporary art is often characterised as intensely international. So it is perhaps remarkable how many of the proposals for a work of art to grace the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square seem to have made reference to the British national spirit.

Cockerels, cashpoints and cake next for fourth plinth

Ever since Mark Wallinger's sculpture of Jesus Christ clad in a loincloth and crown of thorns was installed on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth, its revolving gallery of artworks has roused passions and stirred debate.

Six sculptures in running for Trafalgar Square

A giant Battenberg cake made of bricks and an outsize blue cockerel were revealed today to be among the works battling to take their place in Trafalgar Square.

Fair Trade, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

Three years ago an art installation in Trafalgar Square charted the journey of a sex-trafficked girl from Eastern Europe to a Western brothel. A powerful clarion call, it inspired Lucy Kirkwood's hit It Felt Empty When the Heart Went at First But It Is Alright Now. It also, it turns out, inspired Fair Trade, which arrives at the Fringe with Emma Thompson's endorsement as executive producer.

Love from London: A City of Stars

A new photography exhibition captures stars from the golden age of cinema as they enjoy stepping out in London. From Elizabeth Taylor fending off pigeons in Trafalgar Square to Audrey Hepburn taking her dog for a run in Richmond Park.



The pigeons have gone, but visitors are flocking to Trafalgar Square

Art venue. Film set. And now maze. Andy McSmith on the rebirth of a London landmark

Location location location: UK's top cinematic spots

Britain is blessed with a variety of landscapes that can change, sometimes dramatically, within short distances. Close enough to the studios of Pinewood and Shepperton, Egypt has been filmed on the sand of Frensham Large Pond whilst across the water Russia has been shot amongst the pine trees and silver birches of Frensham Little Pond.

The battle of Trafalgar Square: six artists vie for fourth plinth spot

Nelson still has another 18 months to treasure looking down at the bottled replica of his flagship HMS Victory from atop his column. But already the battle has begun among the next armada of contenders vying to catch the admiral's eye.

EasyJet founder wins Ryanair libel payout

EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou accepted undisclosed libel damages today over Ryanair advertisements which accused him of lying.

Slow Dancing, Trafalgar Square, London

Some steps in the right direction
News
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
people
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
people
News
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game