Arts and Entertainment David Blunkett thinks shows that mock politicians should be subject to tougher libel scrutiny

Programmes that mock politicians cross the line from satire to comment, he says

Mackie relays the new age message

Norman Fox surveys the fledgling talent which may flourish in Munich

Youth English goes Creole

The Creole English of the Caribbean is being adopted as the common language of the English urban playground.

Conversations with Converse

A team of British researchers has won a contest to create a computer program which holds a "conversation" so naturally it is difficult to distinguish it from a human. The creators claim similar systems could eventually replace humans in some jobs, such as counselling. They could even become companions more valued than pets.

Obituary: Professor James Scott

James Scott will primarily be remembered as the Regional Medical Officer for the Trent Regional Health Authority from 1973 to 1988. However, behind this, there is an outstanding contribution to health care and medical education, primarily in the East Midlands.

Womb service

Helplines and

Academic masterplan helps a region to grow

When Gareth Roberts became vice-chancellor of Sheffield University, he found there was a European and an international office on campus but no regional office. So, he set one up.

Quit smoking? I could do it with my eyes shut...

When Glenda Cooper went to a hypnotherapist to end her affair with Nick O'Teen, she found will-power playing a surprisingly important role; He was enthusiastic, and assured me that I'd never want to smoke again. Wildly keen on the idea of an addiction-free life, l got off the phone and immediately lit up

I've effectively left my profession because I'm career-minded

At the Frenchay Hospital, Pamela Enderby worked in clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment and supervised other therapists. While she became aware that a pharmacist who did not supervise a department was earning considerably more than her, she was as concerned for the effect of low pay on her profession when she began her war of attrition with the NHS, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

Pop & Jazz: Neil Hannon and The Divine Comedy play the Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (0171-960 4242) 26 and 27 Mar

Of one fact there can be no doubt - when Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy pens a love song, he writes in primary colours. Last year's album Casanova draped his tales from the heart with orchestral strings and pure pop razzmatazz which nudged him into the charts.

Student of the game takes on professor's role

Glenn Moore on the route that led to Lancaster Gate for the new technical director of the Football Association

Not so much silence, please

Britain's public libraries are winning the loyalty of a new generation of readers. So let's make a racket to celebrate and defend them, argues Ken Worpole

Academy under fire before bids received

Sports politics

Prehistoric find to be sacrificed for gravel

Unique Bronze Age bridges are to disappear under a man-made lake for rowers, writes David Keys

Face up to market forces or drop out

Is the cash-cow that is professional legal education in danger of drying up for the lesser players in an increasingly competitive market?

Education: Happiness is ... 10 beers and a snog

Greg is happy to be labelled a Lad. In between watching the England v Switzerland football match at the pub, the 20-year-old Sheffield University student explains his philosophy.
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam