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'What's normal at your work that would blow anyone else's mind?'

From an old life of mine doing political operations and campaigns:

Royal Mail have issued a new set of stamps featuring 12 characters from children's TV, which will be issued to celebrate over 60 years of kid's programming.

Children's TV characters to appear on stamps

Favourites from Bob the Builder to Bagpuss will be pictured in the collection

Secrets to finding love online released on the busiest day of the year for dating websites

Around 1 million people were expected to register to a dating site the day after New Year's Day

Guests came suitably attired for the sleepover in the museum's imposing entrance hall

A night at the Natural History Museum – just don’t try doing what comes naturally at this sleepover for grown-ups

It’s billed as a sleepover, but as Kunal Dutta discovered, what with insect-based snacks there was far too much happening at the Natural History Museum

The way we ... listened: Beyonce

The way we were 2013... The IoS looks back at a year of firsts, lasts and 'twas ever thuses

The triumphs, from David Bowie to Andy Murray; the trends, from burgers to twerking; emerging stars, fallen idols, the expectation of exciting stuff to come, and some things that we left behind, hopefully for good...

James Gray enjoys lunch at The Holiday Inn in Sutton with Marian and John Cunningham

Come dine with me: Couple respond to pensioner James Gray's newspaper advert for company on Christmas Day

Irish couple were among thousands of people around the world who were touched by James’s story

The top ten: Monarchs 1066-1707

Sir Michael Barber, who was head of the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit from 2001 to 2005, suggested this list: monarchs of England 'judged on leaving the country in better shape than they found it', and he provided most of the rankings here...

HIV testing clinic opens in London church

A free HIV testing clinic will open in a London church today in a bid to tackle the higher rate of infection in the African community.

Don McCullin, pictured in front of one of his powerful war pictures, says he wishes he had spent more of his life taking photographs closer to home

‘Forget foreign conflicts, chronicle Britain’ says war photographer Don McCullin

Celebrated war photographer urges next generation to record UK’s ‘social wars’

Building a new life? There is the equivalent of a whole Eastern European city in London, with more than 500,000 people

From Eastern Europe to the East End: What is life really like in Britain for our immigrant neighbours?

Margaret Thatcher loved the maquette of Canary Wharf. She listened enthralled as the architects explained how a light railway would extend through the razed old docks.

The 'death mask' was almost certainly taken by Francis Burton, a British surgeon in attendance at Napoleon's death

Block on rare Napoleon death mask leaving UK

The plaster mask was sold for £175,000 to an overseas buyer earlier this year by a descendant of the brother of its original owner

The Cviet which ran aground near Porthleven in 1884

Salvaged: The extraordinary family album that turned wrecks into art

More than 200 stricken vessels were captured over a 125-year period off the Isles of Scilly, David Keys gazes in wonder at a unique maritime archive

Sir Ranulph Fiennes; King Henry V addresses his troops before the Battle of Agincourt

Once more unto the breach for Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Explorer to write book on his ancestors' roles in the Battle of Agincourt

Three of Sir Ranulph’s forebear’s took up arms in the service of Henry V, while another, Robert Fiennes, was the constable of France

The market town of Bingham, Nottinghamshire (population: 9,000) has been named as the best town in England and Wales in which to bring up a family

Where's the best place to bring up a family? It's Bingham

The market town of Bingham, Nottinghamshire (population: 9,000) has been named as the best town in England and Wales in which to bring up a family.

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The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
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Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
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Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

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Manchester City vs Roma

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Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
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Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?