Wanted: ageing Scandinavian model...

Once deemed safe but frumpy, now it's gaining classic status. Suddenly, everyone wants a Saab, says Oliver Bennett

Quiddities: an interactive review of the oddities of the year

1. How many camels were killed in Britain by lightning in 1997?

CRIES AND WHISPERS: Spice up your life with a deodorant ... or a crisp ... or a lolly

Sorry to go on about the Spice Girls again, but if it wasn't me it would be someone else. As the album title rightly says, this is Spiceworld. There's nowhere you can avoid them. On every billboard in the land, they're waiting, grinning away, taking a breather from advertising their own products only in order to advertise someone else's. If you've got a furniture warehouse or a second-hand car showroom you want to publicise, give them a call. They posed for Channel Five, remember, so they must be just girls who can't say no.

Dilemmas: The day a hairdresser gave me the cruellest cut of all

Sara used to have lovely long hair until a week ago, when a hairdresser persuaded her to have it all cut off. Now she feels desperate when she looks in a mirror. She doesn't want to wear a wig, and she knows it'll grow back eventually, so why is she reacting as she does?

Ulrika has it. William and Nicola do not. Welcome to Middle Youth

It is 6am on Sunday morning and two people are leaving the Cross night-club in north London. One is 35 and one is 33. They have been up all night dancing. After a few hours' sleep they go to a garden centre. The are living the life of the Middle Youth.

Essay: Julie and Charlotte's new baby

The Modern Review is back, rejoining a gang of literary and political magazines with small circulations and high ambitions. Robert Hanks looks for the meat

TV stars to stage live shows

Cult television comedies Shooting Stars and The Fast Show are to stage a series of huge rock-style live events.

Vic and Bob's `Omnibus' treatment

Comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer will be analysed in a forthcoming Omnibus, BBC1's arts documentary series.

John Simpson spoils for battle on home front

Distinguished BBC war correspondent John Simpson has put himself in the line of fire on the home front, with outspoken attacks on the corporation's director-general, John Birt, former colleague Martin Bell and "good news" fan Martyn Lewis.

Freddie Starr ate your mortgage

Real celebrities in advertisements don't come cheap, but often they're worth it. So says Ron Mowlam, but he would, wouldn't he? By Serena Mackesy

She's 51, but still the sexiest

In a poll calculated to hearten every middle-aged woman, the actress Helen Mirren has been voted the sexiest woman on television.

Phwoaar, look at the glass shelves on that!

TELEVISION

People in fashion: A knack for all trades

Fashion isn't just about clothes. Hester Lacey meets multi-talented design duo New RenaisCAnce

Mr Reeves' big afternoon out; Interview: Vic Reeves

He won't talk to the Press pack about his love-life, but he doesn't mind a nice one-to-one

Kentucky fried relaunch

No it's not just greasy scoff for after the pub, it's 'real food' for the discerning consumer. Yes, KFC is 're-branding'. Stop giggling at the back, says Stephen Armstrong
Arts and Entertainment
TV Review: Sabotage, a meltdown and, of course, plenty of sauce
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
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A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
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News
i100'Geography can be tough'
Sport
Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
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Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
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REX/Eye Candy
science
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i100
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Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?