News

Food scares and stricter pig production rules across Europe will all be good for the bacon, sausage and cooked meats group Cranswick, its chairman said yesterday.

Celeriac soup with scallops and bacon

Serves 4

Cod bits with butter beans and bacon

Serves 2-4<

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/11/today-in-poli-5.html">Today in Politics: The war of the tax-cutters</a>

A general election atmosphere at Westminster today. Gordon Brown called a 9.30 press conference so David Cameron pre-empted it by holding one at 8.30, complete with bacon butties for early risers like me

Freud's intimate portrait of his friend Bacon sold for &#163;5.4m

A rarely seen oil portrait of the artist Francis Bacon, painted by his friend Lucian Freud, has been sold for £5.4m. The work, which offers an intimate glimpse into the collaborative friendship of two giants of post-war art, is one of only two oil portraits of Bacon painted by Freud and the last remaining: the second was stolen from an exhibition in Berlin in 1988.

Kings Place Opening Festival, Kings Place, London <br>Varjak Paw, Linbury Studio, London

They've got a shiny new platform at King's Cross, but the controller missed some points

Ten Tiny Toes, Everyman, Liverpool

There's a very intense scene in Esther Wilson's Ten Tiny Toes on which the play turns. Gill, whose two sons served in Iraq, finds her voice and is drawn towards the organisation Military Families Against the War (MFAW). Her husband, numbed by the death of their younger boy, begs his wife to "leave all this bloody madness to someone else out there". You feel desperately for both of them.

Album: Beth Rowley, Little Dreamer (Blue Thumb)

On her solo debut, Beth Rowley is a more deserving inheritor of the Dusty Springfield mantle than either Duffy or Adele, though the lack of comparably overcooked hype will probably ensure that Little Dreamer fails to emulate the immediate impact of Rockferry or 19.

Which may be for the best: this is an album whose manifold delights are best discovered at a more considered pace, to allow the gracefully modulated blues and soul stylings of songs such as "So Sublime" and "Only One Cloud" time to seep into one's consciousness. Production duties are split between the pop-conscious settings of Steve Powers on songs such as "So Sublime", and the rootsier treatments of Bacon & Quarmby, whose assemblage of organ, piano and horns on covers of Billy Sherrill's "Almost Persuaded" and Willie Nelson's "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground" has the grainy, textured quality of The Band.

Bacon chop with Tewkesbury mustard

Serves 4

Bacon's triptych expected to fetch &#163;35m

The most important Francis Bacon triptych to remain in private hands looks set to smash all records for the artist when it goes on sale at Sotheby's in New York for an estimated £35m.

Spaghetti with bacon, mushrooms and Parmesan

Serves 4-6

Edna & Madge: The inside story of a TV friendship

In real life, Dame Edna's glum companion entertained the troops, brought the can-can to Crystal Palace and turned down all offers of marriage

Terence Blacker: We need to savour our bacon &ndash; and here's how

It has become a difficult business being a conscientious consumer. In the everyday matter of buying food, for example, there is the ecological cost of transporting goods to consider, the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process, the environmental price-tag on ingredients, not to mention humanitarian, political and animal welfare issues surrounding its production. Never has feeding yourself been quite so freighted with complication and guilt.

Paperback: The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose, by Diana Janney

Headline &pound;6.99 (388pp)

Bacon's homage to dead lover sells for &pound;26m

A "unique" painting revealing Francis Bacon's abject grief at the suicide of his lover, George Dyer, sold last night for more than £26m but failed to break the record for the artist's work by £150,000.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
News
i100
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick