Sketch: Getting to the bottom of Starbucks' tax arrangements is a

If nothing else the questioning of the country’s top taxperson was a study in exasperation today. Understandably, the Commons Public Accounts Committee was eager, desperate even, to find out from Lin Homer, HMRC’s chief executive, how it was that Starbucks managed to pay a trifling £8.6million in corporation tax on UK sales of - wait for it - £398million.

Sticking to their guns

While others turned to abstraction after 1945, British painters clung to their figurative instincts. It was a polite but powerful art, says Adrian Hamilton

My Life In Food: Patricia Michelson

After successfully selling Beaufort Chalet d'Alpage from her garden shed in Highgate, north London, Patricia opened a cheese shop, La Fromagerie, in Highbury Park in 1992. Ten years later she opened a second on Marylebone High Street and has written two award-winning books, Cheese and The Cheese Room.

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The day that 'The Independent' could be heard as well as read

In what was a broadcasting first, presenter Richard Bacon hosted his BBC Radio 5Live show in the newsroom of The Independent yesterday, dedicating his two-hour programme to an industry that finds itself at the centre of the news as well as reporting on it.

The Week in Radio: Why Melvyn is still master of the universe

It was curiously fitting to find In Our Time contemplating the end of the world as we know it. It's all too easy, gazing round the broadcasting landscape and chancing on programmes like F*** Off I'm Fat, or Snog, Marry, Avoid?, to get an inkling of cultural apocalypse. But if there was ever a programme to be put in a time capsule to prove that alongside the deluge of drivel with which we divert ourselves there was something that justified millennia of brain evolution, then it's In Our Time. I don't think this is over the top, is it?

The essence of Bacon on menu at Bonhams

A painting of, rather than by, Francis Bacon takes pride of place at the first sale of Irish art by the auction house Bonhams. Louis le Brocquy's watercolour, entitled Image of Francis Bacon No 18, is estimated at £60,000 to £80,000. Penny Day, the head of Irish art at Bonhams, said Le Brocquy painted Bacon several times, "trying to capture the Bacon-ness of Bacon". One of the smallest, cheapest paintings in the sale is also attracting attention, however. Entitled Roundabout Ponies, it is by Jack Butler Yeats, the brother of the poet William Butler Yeats. He gave it to the matron of his nursing home and it is being sold by her heirs. Ray Tang/Rex Features