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Advertising is like a faulty shower, ITV chairman Archie Norman once said, and the Downton Abbey broadcaster today showed again that is the case.

Anger brews at move to break up Royal Mail

The Government faced anger from Labour MPs and union leaders tonight after it was revealed a Bill to sell off part of the Royal Mail is to be introduced into Parliament on Thursday.

Royal Mail reveals all-business profit boon

The Royal Mail made an increased profit of £255 million in the nine months to Christmas, and all its businesses are in profit for the first time in almost 20 years, the postal group announced today.

Sam Wallace: Shearer does not need Newcastle job but one day England may want him

Ideally, Shearer should start as manager pretty much anywhere but St James' Park

David Gill favourite to succeed Barwick

David Gill has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Brian Barwick as the FA chief executive.

Barwick falls as Triesman coup ends the FA's power struggle

The Football Association chief executive, Brian Barwick, was last night forced out by the governing body after a power struggle at the very top of the English game. The man who appointed Fabio Capello in December fell victim to the all-powerful new regime of the new FA chairman, Lord Triesman.

Chief executives' pay rises by more than 30 per cent

The chief executives of the country's largest public companies saw their pay rise by more than a third last year, far faster than most wages across the nat-ion, according to a report.

Take us to the semi-finals, FA demands of Capello

The Football Association yesterday set out its targets for Fabio Capello and declared that he needs to reach the semi-finals of the 2012 European Championship and the 2014 World Cup to be deemed a success.

Notice served on inflexible savings deals

In an age where we want everything now and can move money online at the click of a button, there is something terribly old-fashioned about holding your hard-earnt money in a savings account that makes you wait up to four months to get your hands on your cash.

John Rentoul: Last week, I asked how far Alan could go. Today, Gordon must be wondering, too

Knock, knock. Who's there? Gordon. Gordon who?

Personal column: A gong for grime

Michael Winner has boasted of turning down an OBE because it was the sort of honour 'awarded to toilet cleaners'. Sheena Grant MBE has scrubbed and polished at the University of Aberdeen for 23 years

Editor-At-Large: Lancashire hotpot? For the love of Pauline, give it up man

As romantic celebrations go, it was a menu that revealed an awful lot. For John Prescott's 68th birthday dinner, his long-suffering wife Pauline cooked him a hotpot. Yes, a hotpot. Instead of braving the media, the cameras, the gawpers and the regular diners at his favourite Chinese restaurant in Hull, the Prescotts decided to batten down the hatches and celebrate behind closed doors at the family home. We owe the revelations about the homely fare on offer to John, of course. For Pauline, true to form, has said nothing. From the moment John put his foot in it by revealing that Pauline didn't want to mess up her hair at the party conference in Bournemouth several years ago, and so committed the environmental crime of taking the Jaguar 200 yards from her hotel to the delegates' hall, Pauline has wisely decided that the less she says about anything the better.

Virginia Ironside: Yes, I've had a facelift. And so should you

I didn't want to look in the mirror and see a gloomy old person

Premiership set to ban players from England

The great stand-off: Clubs refuse to play ball with All Black game

Royal Mail to increase price of first-class stamps

Royal Mail put the interests of its business customers firmly ahead of personal users yesterday by increasing the cost of first-class postage in a move designed to prepare the organisation for open competition in 2006.

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness