Arts and Entertainment

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

Leading article: A powerful case for a well-funded and confident public broadcaster

James Murdoch used the MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival last year to tear great lumps out of the BBC.

Gadgets on the go - the gizmos that can ease your summer travels

Whether the Apple iPad will lead to travellers leaving half a dozen books at home remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that virtual travel sites and guides are transforming the way many of us will see the world this summer.

In search of Kunegunda: A journey to the past in a Polish country churchyard

This poignant tale about a trip to eastern Europe won Marie Kreft the 2010 IoS/Bradt Travel Writing competition

BBC Worldwide posts record profits of £145m

BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster's commercial arm, hit record annual profits of £145.2m as programmes including Doctor Who proved hugely popular around the world last year.

Album: Various artists, Rough Guide...Russian Gypsies (World Music Network)

"Russian Romance" has a fascinating history, having been a staple of both Russian and Russian-gypsy cultures for two centuries, and having had a big boost from the Soviets.

A Time of Mourning, By Christobel Kent

I'm not quite sure when Florence turned from a lovers' playground to a backdrop for vein-slashing, throat-opening mayhem. Christobel Kent's first case for Florentine private eye Sandro Cellini arrives in the tumultuous wake of Michele Giuttari's crime series which mixed death, espresso and political manoeuvring in a manner that only the city's former police chief could nail.

Are you inspired to write a winning travel story?

To your keyboards! It's time to enter this year's Independent on Sunday/Bradt Travel-Writing Competition. And to help get those creative juices flowing, we publish extracts from previous years' prize-winning stories to show you how it's done

Tips and deals of the week: 28/03/2010

The retreat

Just open in the Swiss Alps, Equilibrium is a bespoke retreat in Verbier offering hiking, yoga and wellness treatments.

Go to

Inside VICE magazine's alternative travel guides

Since 2007 the VICE travel guides have brought us some of the most unusual travel films around: From Beirut to Bulgaria, Chernobyl to Congo the guides have taken the viewer on journeys to surreal and often dangerous places.

Enchanted Glass, By Diana Wynne Jones

No one has ever written quite like Diana Wynne Jones. The author of over 40 novels, she combines the delicate humour and nostalgic village settings of Barbara Pym with the wild imagination of JRRTolkien, who was her somewhat disengaged tutor at Oxford in the 1950s.

Call for sale of BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide, the main commercial arm of the BBC, should be split from the corporation and turned into a global communications company brand to promote and sell British television programmes around the world, a committee of peers has recommended.

How We Met: Alastair Sawday & Patrick Dawson

'It was wild – the locals in the hills had only recently had their first contact with Europeans'

The 50 best winter walks

From tough treks along wild Scottish trails, to relaxing strolls down the lanes and meadows of the Home Counties, Lucy Gillmore presents the experts’ rambling recommendations

Tips and deals: 20/12/2009

The books

Top luggage company Tumi has joined forces with Hg2, the hedonist series of travel guides, to produce a new, stylish range of books on cities from Paris to Buenos Aires. The boxed set of eight Tumi Hg2 guides costs £125 and is available from London's Tumi store and Harrods

One Minute With: Sandi Toksvig

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
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Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

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A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
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Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before