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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam