Life and Style

Considerable volumes of wishful thinking and even more hot air have been expended on the 'wonderful' 2012 Burgundy vintage, currently on offer. Sparing you the hyperbole and cutting to the chase, Burgundy 2012 is a good vintage in which a handful of great wines have been made by a few exceptional growers. It is not a rising tide that raises all boats in the mould of 2005 or 2010.

Gout is caused by a the formation of sodium urate crystals in the joints

Gout cases explode as doctors warn that the condition affects one in 40 Britons

Cases of gout in the UK have “soared” since the beginning of the 21st century, doctors have said, amid warnings that a condition traditionally labelled “the disease of kings” now afflict one in every 40 people – with the most incidences among the poor.

A 25 year gap between the life expectancy of rich and poor Londoners is a further indictment of our unequal society

One of the greatest determinants of a person’s health is their income

Market Report: Buying Beam was likely not on the to-do list. Now it should be

Following a run of M&A activity, booze experts yesterday declared drinks giant Diageo is ready to pour itself into the mix for US spirits group Beam.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Russian Lib Dem leader tells party members to have sex only four times a year

Vladimir Zhirinovsky also called for films showing smoking and drinking to be banned

Jim Beam’s turning Japanese

To some Kentuckians, this takeover may be a source of sadness. It shouldn't be: the booze business exemplifies a global trend more clearly than any other

Brace yourself: Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves in 'House of Fools'

House of Fools, BBC2 - TV review: It's The Young Ones with M&S V-necks as odd couple's surreal laughs hit home

Vic and Bob have done sketch shows (The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer), web series (Vic & Bob’s Afternoon Delights), comedy dramas (Catterick, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)) and the greatest quiz show of all time (Shooting Stars), but until now they’ve never done a sitcom as sit-commy as this. Their new show, House of Fools (BBC2), is filmed in front of a live studio audience, and the duo play Odd Couple-style flatmates in a home filled with bizarre bric-à-brac and beset by unwelcome visitors.

Usain Bolt claims he devoured 1,000 Chicken McNuggets a day during the Beijing Olympics

Matt Butler: Don’t bolt your food, Usain – not in Jamie and Jimmy’s naff caff

View from the Sofa: Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, Channel 4

Tom Hodgkinson: 'The only booming businesses are booze and payday lenders. No one buys books. The high streets are collapsing'

In the run-up to Christmas I found myself watching a lot of telly. My friends accuse me of hypocrisy since I used to rail against the evils of TV and even advised people, in a book, to chuck out their telly. I defend myself by blaming my children: I felt bad denying them the pleasures of schoolyard conversation about The X Factor.

Grace Dent on TV: Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 5

Liz Jones is a beacon of normality when cloistered with Dappy and co   

Anthony Rose on wine: Big Mal

Such has been the success of Argentina’s malbec over the past two decades that it seems astonishing that growers were once tearing out their malbec vines, and their hair, for lack of demand for red wine. Thanks to pioneers such as Catena and Weinert and investment from overseas companies, malbec was saved for the nation, but it’s only today that we’re really seeing its true potential.

Former marine Brad Lee Davis, 33, who has been charged with murdering his stepfather with his own underwear in an 'atomic wedgie'

‘Atomic wedgie’ murder case: Oklahoma man accused of suffocating stepfather with his own underwear

Former marine Brad Lee Davis, from Oklahoma, allegedly got into a drunken fight with his stepfather in the days before Christmas

A man smokes a joint containing marijuana.

70% rise in Twitter users adding 'smoke more weed' to their list of 2014 New Year resolutions

People using the social media website also said they wanted to drink more alcohol and take more drugs

Conservationists have reacted angrily to the launch of a beer made using whale meat

Whale meat beer claiming to turn drinkers into Vikings is slammed as ‘immoral’ by conservationists

The Icelandic beer has been launched in association with a whaling company to mark a festival to the Norse god Thor

Flying the nest, take two: Moving out of halls and into independent housing

Dos and don'ts to consider before you move in with the first people who'll have you

Health campaigners have been pressing for tougher action on alcohol abuse

Government 'buried' release of key evidence on minimum alcohol price before policy U-turn

The Government “buried” key evidence in the run-up to a major U-turn on minimum pricing for alcohol, it has emerged, amid accusations from doctors that pressure from the alcohol industry was “instrumental” in blocking the policy.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent