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.

Rain returning after brief respite

Britain's rain misery is set to return today with downpours and strong winds lashing the country at the end of the week.

Water companies lift hosepipe bans

Three of the UK's biggest water companies are lifting hosepipe bans, imposed to deal with drought, following weeks of heavy rain.

Live travel news on the TFL site at 11am today

Continued Central line disruption fuels Olympic fears as commuters face severe delays on journey home

Continued disruption to Tube services today, that will see commuters face massive delays on their journey home, has fuelled fears that the 150-year-old system is unequal to the extra demand expected during the Olympics.

Hosepipe ban 'could be over before autumn'

The UK's biggest water company has said it could lift its hosepipe ban sooner than expected after wet weather reduced the risk of drought.

Jermaine Dupri: "I have created my own social space"

Producer creates new empire in social media to engage with fans

Dom Joly: Eurovision's host likes things puny or phoney. Perfect

I didn't watch The Eurovision Song Contest. Actually, I'm not sure I've ever seen it, but I'm certain that it's not for me. For once, I agree with the government of Iran when it berated its little neighbour, Azerbaijan, for hosting this most peculiar of musical institutions. I did catch an airing of the Engelbert Humperdinck video, and that was enough to put me right off my breakfast. If the Iranians hear it, then I'm pretty sure they will invade immediately. In the subsequent interview, The Hump was being harassed by the loathsome Jedward, but he put up with them in a remarkably patient manner. As if the lobotomy twins weren't enough, The Hump was then asked to comment on the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. He played the "I'm only a lowly singer" card: he had been asked to come and sing a song and that's what he was going to do. The interviewer didn't even bother to question Jedward on their political views. As terrible as the regime's behaviour might be, I for one would turn a blind eye if Jedward were to be detained without trial for a prolonged period of time after their performance was over.

James Moore: Splash out on United Utilities and you'll be singing in the rain

Investment View: Spending on water bills is not discretionary, spending on the high street definitely is

Robot fish join battle against sea pollution

Robot "fish" developed to improve pollution monitoring took to the water yesterday at the start of sea trials.

Water providers warned over drought-stricken areas

Water providers came under increased pressure from the industry watchdog today to ensure drought-stricken areas are helped by regions with more plentiful supplies.

Record April showers end drought in 19 counties

The hosepipe bans have not been lifted just yet, but river levels are returning to normal

People shelter from the rain in Greenwich Park this week

Why hasn't April's rain been enough to tackle the drought?

A hosepipe ban for 20 million people in south and east England in the face of widespread drought has been followed by the wettest April on record.

Warnings of flash floods as Britain set for a 'real soaking'

Parts of Britain might be in the middle of a drought, but some areas of England and Wales are braced for the possibility of flash floods this weekend as the deluge continues at the end of a week of heavy rain.

More rain and 60mph winds warning as poor weather continues for the UK

Much of England and Wales will experience further downpours today while strong winds of up to 60mph are set to batter parts of the UK over the weekend.

Call for 600m fracking limit

Controversial "fracking" for shale gas should only take place at least 600 metres down from aquifers used for water supplies, scientists said today.

Rain fails to alleviate drought

This week's heavy rain has not alleviated the drought gripping swathes of the country, the Environment Agency said today.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas