Outside Edge (13/12/2009)

Just remember, African pygmy hedgehogs are for life, not just for Christmas.

The spiky critters are the latest fashion accessory for WAGs to put in their handbags – chihuahuas, on the other hand, now account for a third of abandoned dogs in the US. The hedgehogs come in a range of colours: albino, apricot, chocolate, salt and pepper – and the RSPCA are up in arms with the Cheshire Waterlife Centre that sells them for £250. But why not go the whole hog and get a pig that flies, like Scarlet, owned by Gwen Howell of Shrewsbury, who has been entered in auditions for 'Britain's Got Talent' because she loves to jump up and down on a trampoline. The swine flew, but can she bring home the bacon?


The age of Paddy Jones, the British grandmother who won the Spanish version of 'Britain's Got Talent' by performing an acrobatic salsa with dance partner Nicko Espinosa, 35. 'It's crazy,' she said, 'life has turned upside down.' Literally.

Chequered mates of the week

There's no smoke without fire in the high-pressure world of chess. Two Chinese grand masters, Wang Yue and Li Chao, were disqualified from the World Chess Cup held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, after they returned late from a smoking break. Edge is a fan of any sport that allows fag breaks but it's sad that Wang should drag Li down like this; he only took up the habit to keep Wang company. Top-class chess has returned to the UK for the first time in 25 years at the London Chess Classic, featuring the inappropriately monikered Hikaru 'H-Bomb' Nakamura, who beat Bobby Fischer's record as the youngest grand master at 15 years, 79 days. Let's hope he doesn't fall in with the wrong cloud.

Good week for

Mark Lane, England women's cricket coach named UK coach of the year after they won the World Cup and World Twenty20 and retained the Ashes... Mike Perham, the youngest person to sail solo around the world, passes his driving test... and Theo Walcott, signed up by publishers Random House to pen four books about TJ the schoolboy striker.

Bad week for

Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver fined $30,000 for putting on a sombrero and poncho after touching down against Detroit... Fabrizio Corona, Italian paparazzo imprisoned for trying to blackmail footballers Adriano and Francesco Coco and motorcyclist Marco Melandri... and Hulk Hogan, the wrestler, is trying to retrieve a beloved antique toilet seat – and even the kitchen sink – taken away by his ex-wife Linda.

Presents of mind of the week

Some irresistible gift ideas for the sports fan: Japanese lingerie company Triumph have brought out "Nice Cup in a Bra", a brassiere that can be unfolded to form a practise putting green complete with a built-in speaker that says "Nice shot" when you sink the ball into the inverted cups. Then there's a remote-control bowling ball produced in the US by 900 Global which you guide towards the skittles. It seems rather against the spirit of the game but does make it a lot easier. Walldex can make a pillow that's an exact replica of the biggest fish you've ever caught. Or how about Blackpool FC's transvestite calendar, designed for charity by striker Stephen McPhee? There's one for the stockings.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Litigation

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SO...

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride