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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee