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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.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine