News David Cameron and Al Murray are ‘distant cousins’ family records show

The pair are related, equally randomly, through 19th century Vanity Fair writer William Thackeray

A. A. Gill sticks the knife into Michelin

A.A. Gill is so often found gratuitously insulting sucessful women, that you'd be forgiven for thinking this was his primary profession.

Usual Suspects star Byrne to star in Quirke thrillers

Gabriel Byrne is set to star in a series of crime thrillers based on novels by Booker Prize winner John Banville.

Kim Kardashian is unlikely to be embraced by the world of high fashion

Fashion: Can Kim Kardashian's klothing konvince?

"Does Kim Kardashian belong on the cover of a fashion magazine?" asks this week's New York magazine, next to a close-up of the perennially pouting reality-television star.

Robert Pattinson appearing on The Daily Show with John Stewart on Monday

Relationships: How to do the post-breakup interview

Robert Pattinson's appearance on The Daily Show on Monday was the Twilight actor's first interview since his very public split with Kristen Stewart. Host Jon Stewart's half-attempts to draw sound bites out of him involved pulling out a couple of tubs of ice cream and trying to engage in a "girly chat". As Pattinson gamefully deflected the questions, he said that he wished he had hired a publicist to tell him how to handle the situation.

Gore Vidal: 'A keeper of the national conscience'

Gore Vidal, a larger-than-life literary institution who was always willing to speak up and hold his government accountable, has died aged 86, writes Rupert Cornwell

Aaron Sorkin 'sacks The Newsroom writers' apart from ex-girlfriend

Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series The Newsroom has received mixed reviews since it appeared on television screens last month. The Independent’ TV critic Grace Dent noted its “base-notes of ordure” and declared it “not heinously bad [but] simply not amazing”.

NatWest mess shows cuts can cost dear

An operation suddenly trying to do the same thing with fewer hands is going to come unstuck somewhere.

'Sonogram art' - photoshopping the scan over the stomach of the mother and uploading it to facebook - is apparently the next best thing for soon-to-be parents

Trending: Now being shared, the insta-sonogram

Photography

Guilty verdict in heiress case

A gas fitter has been convicted of the manslaughter of Zoe Anderson, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Bath following the installation of a boiler.

Jill Abramson at a New York Times 'Page 1' editorial meeting

The Times of her life: Jill Abramson on power, pop culture and puppies

Abramson, the first female editor of The New York Times, has already made history.

Kim Kardashian is guilty of the vocal fry

Pronunciation: Make a speech purist cry – try vocal fry

Will you be frying tonight? Britney, Kim Kardashian and her coven and K$sha (her keyboard clumsiness, not mine) will be. I'm not talking about the oil-based cooking technique. Instead, I refer to the "vocal fry", a non-fattening and newly identified way of speaking that is, apparently, big with young women in the US.

Florence Welch took the Best Solo Artist award

Florence Welch beats Adele in double NME award triumph

Adele’s run of award-winning success has finally been brought to an end after Florence + The Machine triumphed with a double win at the NME awards.

James Murdoch and his father, Rupert, in London last July

Ian Burrell: He came to clean up Wapping but leaves behind a bigger mess

When James Murdoch took charge at News International's Wapping plant in 2007 he was just 34 and determined to preside over a modern media organisation and a clean one. He drove an environmentally friendly Toyota Prius, which he parked prominently at the front of the main offices. He introduced hanging plants, banned the use of hand towels and ordered wall posters that urged staff to save energy and help NI become a carbon-neutral company.

New Zealand's penguin power

A giant penguin more than 4ft (1.2m) tall roamed New Zealand about 27 million years ago, according to paleontologists who have reconstructed it from fossil remains.

Sony's Vita console sales hit 1.2 million

Sony's latest handheld games console, the PlayStation Vita, has sold 1.2 million units worldwide.

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Independent Travel
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
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected