"As far as I'm concerned," said George Harrison in 1989, "there won't be a Beatles reunion as long as John Lennon remains dead." It was a typical late-Beatles utterance - a touch of wit and a load of acrimony. And it sounded terminal.

But a miracle has been arranged. Next month launches another winter of Beatledom, the first for 25 years. On 26 November, ITV embarks on screening Anthology, 16 hours of programmes comprising interviews, home movies, unseen film of the Beatles recording and all manner of other things. There will be new CDs containing unreleased songs and hitherto unheard versions of songs we know. And to cap it all there will be two never-even-suspected songs which John Lennon sang alone and to which the other Beatles have recently added accompaniment.

Paul McCartney has spoken of how they did it . "We pretended that John had just rung us up and said, 'I'm going on holiday in Spain. There's this little song that I like. Finish it up for me. I trust you.'" Perhaps not quite the words you would associate with Lennon-McCartney-Harrison when they were all in the same room.

The Beatles' success, and the way they annexed a whole era, is unparalleled in the history of entertainment. The aftermath of their break-up brought sadness, bitterness and a mind-twisting tangle of litigation. It was the settlement of legal cases, as much as anything else, that was the prelude to this reunion. For the time being they all, including Yoko Ono, love one another or are at least on speaking terms.

In this special issue we offer memories of way-back-then and reveal what happened to everybody involved after the Beatles stopped. It is a fascinating story told to the sound of a million cash registers

3 The Weasel 48-57 Food & Drink 61 Alix Sharkey & Crossword 62 Serena & Heath