Arts and Entertainment Roddy Doyle and Roy Keane as 'The Commitments' author Doyle has signed a deal to work with Keane to write the footballer's autobiography

Roddy Doyle, author of "The Commitments", has signed a deal to work with Roy Keane on the controversial ex-footballer’s latest autobiography.

The Player: Niall FitzGerald, Chairman of Unilever: Charting a course for large flotilla

PERSONAL DETAILS: Aged 53. Lives in Chelsea. Drives a BMW 840. He is passionate about sport and music. He has been a Manchester United supporter since the age of three and enjoys opera and jazz piano. He often runs the 5.3 miles between his home and office. In 1998, he was paid pounds 1.1m.

Outlook: Bank of Ireland

Outlook: Bank of Ireland

Lloyds looms over Anglo-Irish tie-up

Market Report

Alliance & Leicester and BoI confirm pounds 11.5bn merger talks

NEARLY pounds 600M was added to the value of Alliance & Leicester and Bank of Ireland yesterday after the two banks confirmed weekend reports that they were in discussions about an pounds 11.5bn merger deal.

Concern over Bank of Ireland A&L deal

THE BANK of Ireland was last night in urgent talks with the Irish government in a bid to meet concerns that plans for an pounds 11bn merger with Britain's Alliance & Leicester could spark a free-for-all for Ireland's companies.

A&L in merger talks

A FRESH round of speculation on link-ups between high street banks will be triggered Monday, when Alliance & Leicester and the Bank of Ireland announce they are in merger talks.

BoI promises to return spare cash to investors

THE BANK OF Ireland said yesterday it would return some of its capital to shareholders if it fails to find a big acquisition on which to spend the $760m proceeds of last year's sale of its interest in Citizens Bank.

Financial Makeover: In on the act

NAME: KATE REYNOLDS AGE: 26 OCCUPATION: ACTRESS

The Player: Brian Williamson, executive Chairman of LIFFE - Can Williamson give Liffe a new lease of life?

PERSONAL DETAILS: Aged 54. Pay, pounds 330,000. Lives in Chelsea. No car of his own, but drives wife's Subaru. When time allows, enjoys skiing and sailing.

Market Report: Takeover talk takes mid caps to dizzy heights

AS BLUE CHIPS dillied and dallied the long neglected second liners enjoyed another exhilarating session, spurred by an array of takeover stories.

Racing: O'Brien ready to play French ace

LE COUDRAY, who won five races in France before being bought by J P McManus, makes his debut for Aidan O'Brien in the Bank of Ireland Hurdle at Naas on Sunday. Held in high regard, Le Coudray is entered in the Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for which he is a top- priced 10-1 with William Hill.

Rugby Union: European Cup final -Friends of the north

Ulster harvest their home-grown talents to present a united front of pure rugby

People and Business: Mr Burke, the office clerk who got to the top

THE YORKSHIREMAN who steered Bristol & West out of its building society status and into the arms of Bank of Ireland two years ago is standing down as chief executive after 34 years with the same institution.

Market report: Bid talk brings 6,000 in reach

IT WAS back to basics yesterday, with takeover activity - real and rumoured - driving the market higher.

Drugs gang link to pounds 6m conman

A CONMAN with links to London's top drugs gang was convicted yesterday of a pounds 6m "sting". Anthony Passmore, 52, was arrested by police as he enticed foreign businessmen and investors to London, intending to steal a further pounds 12m. He told his victims he was a wealthy Dublin businessman and Bank of Ireland executive.
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A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
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Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

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Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
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Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

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Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works