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.

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.

There were more than 21 million visits to A&E units last year

Some NHS patients 'attending overstretched A&Es more than 50 times a year'

One person visited accident and emergency 234 times in a single year

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A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor