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
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head