Arts and Entertainment Catherine Tate and David Walliams bond in Big School

A dated and mild-mannered sitcom is saved by  its casting, but a social experiment goes phut

Technology: Time for a new app?

Now Mark Zuckerberg's corporate behemoth controls your ever-so-cool Instagram photos, it might be time for a change. Here are your options...
Making science sexy: Brian Cox

Ten people who changed the world: Brian Cox, the man who turned science into a sexy subject

Whether in the cut-throat field of politics or the fashion industry's corridors of power, this year they left our planet a better place. Celebrate 10 of the best, nominated by Independent writers

Russell Kane: Manscaping, Hammersmith Apollo, London (4/5)

It was typical of the self-aware, self-referential and self-deprecating “third Russell of comedy” to acknowledge that the X Factor final had taken a slither out of his audience share tonight.

John Bird: Fashion has become a weapon on the streets of London

What you wear can be a matter of life and death – as last week's riots demonstrated

Joan Smith: Lack of empathy made it easier to wreck and rob

Mix violent street disturbances, excitable commentators, angry politicians and "experts" on youth culture and what do you get? Hot air. It is perfectly possible to be horrified by last week's riots without rushing into a moral panic or claiming that they fulfil doomy predictions about the impact of spending cuts. But it is vital to identify the causes, because the response of national politicians, local councils and schools will be shaped by assumptions about why the violence happened. Yet much of what has been said in the past few days has been irrelevant for a simple reason: mobs are not driven by reason.

Being Modern: High-street jeans

In 1950s America, jeans were deemed so culturally subversive that teenagers were banned from wearing them in many public buildings. It's hard to imagine the same furore today over a rack of identically "distressed" (and distressingly flimsy) high-street skinnies or supermarket stretch denim.

Music and drugs - It's a hard habit to break

Amy Winehouse's popularity came in part, says Andy Gill, from the honesty with which she sang of her addictions. But pop hasn't always faced up to the dangerous reality of drugs

Curating online: Hobbies for the hipsters

Tumblr has changed the art of collecting by offering its users an easy way to curate their interests – whether snow globes or dogs in hats

Radio 1 boss Andy Parfitt to stand down

Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt is to leave his role at the station after 13 years.

Lessons from the future: What lies in store for our education system in the next 25 years?

Dr Martin Stephen, who has just retired after 24 years as one of Britain's leading headteachers, reveals his predictions

The family blockbuster returns

JJ Abrams's Super 8 is inspired by the rites-of-passage movies he loved as he grew up. Kaleem Aftab celebrates a golden age

A user's guide to age: We can't truly become 'amortal'

In an age of teenage millionaires and 60-year-old new mothers, it's tempting to think anyone can do anything - any time. But no matter how good the plastic surgery, we can't truly become 'amortal', argues Peter York

Radio 1 DJ Kissy Sell Out: 'Classical music is irrelevant to today's youth'

As he prepares to take part in a Cambridge Union debate with Stephen Fry, Radio 1 DJ Kissy Sell Out explains why classical music has had its day

Club class: 20 years of the Ministry of Sound

Twenty years ago, a club in south London opened its doors, turned up the volume and transformed nightlife. Ian Burrell rewinds to the beginning of the Ministry of Sound
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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
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before