Arts and Entertainment

Colditz; the Great Escape; Bridge on the River Kwai and, recently, the Railway Man. Parodies of them by everyone from Beyond the Fringe to Russ Abbott. All second world war. Memoir after memoir. And yet with the single, powerful exception of the French classic La Grande Illusion, the prisoners of the Great War have gone largely unchronicled.

Being Modern: Bottled water

Ah, summer days. And what could be more refreshing than an unadulterated glass of pure water. Eau de Sidcup, anyone? Thought not. So imagine the British public's surprise when a money-making scheme once dreamt up by Del Boy became reality. It was 2004 and Coca-Cola felt it was time to, um, tap into the bottled-water market. Sadly, it soon came to light that the other "real thing" contained nothing more than filtered tap water from a factory in Sidcup. Dasani was laughed out of UK shops, but the trend for paying for something that we can all get for free shows no signs of abating.

Myers (right) says: 'I bought one of his Japanese motorcycles. It broke down after two days'

How We Met: Simon King & Dave Myers

Simon King, 45

Market Report: Cold water poured on Pennon bid talk

Bullish comments from "Super Mario" may have seen the Footsie gush higher yesterday, but not everyone managed to stay afloat. Pennon was one of the nine blue-chip stocks to finish in the red after a bucket of cold water was poured over the utility's takeover hopes.

The men in suits gather for another sort of competition

London on full schmooze alert as foreign investors arrive and face the Big Pitch

St Swithin's Day set to be dry

Much of the UK is likely to see a mostly dry St Swithin's Day - but that does not mean the weather is set fair for the coming weeks, forecasters warn.

Natalie Haynes: Secretly, we long for an alien invasion

Notebook: The idea that we might be alone in the universe with just seven billion other people for company is clearly too horrifying

Ofcom investigates complaints over 5's Big Brother

Ofcom is investigating Channel 5's Big Brother after viewers complained over three separate incidents.

Water companies lift hosepipe bans as deluge looks set to continue

The final four water companies with hosepipe bans have announced they are lifting them with immediate effect.

Set clear targets for water meters, urge MPs

The Government must set clear targets for increasing the number of homes with water meters as part of efforts to better manage England's water supplies, MPs urged today.

Past three months revealed to be wettest on record

This April to June has been the wettest on record across England and Wales, the Environment Agency said today.

'Fracking' could get UK approval

Controversial “fracking” for shale gas could go ahead in the UK if it is well regulated, as the risks of water contamination and damaging earthquakes are very low, experts said today.

Households struggling to pay water bills 'to get social tariffs'

Households struggling to pay their water bills are to receive help through new social tariffs, according to the Government.

The Market Report: Spotlight on Ithaca as bid talk returns

Are punters prepared to risk their hard-earned cash on Ithaca Energy again? There were plenty of burnt fingers in the Square Mile last month after the North Sea explorer called an end to bid talks with a number of suitors having failed to agree a deal, but yesterday takeover hopes were being stoked up once more.

Scotland offers to sell its water

The rain-soaked hills of Scotland could one day supply water to households in South-east England after the Government confirmed it would discuss an offer from the Scottish Government to redirect excess rainwater to the drought-prone English.

Jeremy Laurance: 'Plague' still has the power to terrify

There is no word in the English language with the emotional impact of "plague". It conveys death on a biblical scale, populations in flight and a world frozen in fear. Yet Yersinia pestis, its cause, is a modest bacterium. It may once have ravaged Europe but today it does not figure among the true global killers.

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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 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent