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.

CGU pays pounds 344m for Hibernian to boost presence in Ireland

CGU, the insurance group, yesterday bought the Irish-based insurer Hibernian in a deal worth pounds 344m.

Outlook: Lack of vision

CAN THERE be a viable independent future for the likes of Alliance & Leicester, the Woolwich and Bradford & Bingley? The first of these is a pounds 5bn company in terms of stock market capitalisation, and the idea that there might not be might seem silly.

Market Report: Williams gains strength on talk of new Tyco offer

WILL IT be third time lucky for Williams?

Bank of Scotland may join bid battle for ICC

BANK OF Scotland is considering entering the bidding for Ireland's state-owned ICC Bank, which is due to be sold off this autumn.

My Biggest Mistake: I was slow to start a success

DR ROGER GEWOLB, 55, a Chicago merchant banker, came to Britain in 1974 and set up Investors Lease Management, providing structuring and advisory services to banks and corporations. He bought the motor finance company British Credit Trust from the Bank of Ireland in 1994 and last September sold a majority stake to Nikko Europe. He remains chief executive.

A&L pledges to give pounds 900m surplus capital to investors

ALLIANCE & LEICESTER shrugged off the City's disappointment over the recent collapse of merger talks with Bank of Ireland when its shares soared 1.5 per cent yesterday after it pledged to return all its pounds 900m surplus capital to shareholders within the next three years.

Stock Market Week: Bulls and bears squabble in pre-millennial jitters

THE MILLENNIUM and the stockmarket: will it be doomsday or damp squib?

Market Report: Rentokil sets a takeover trap to capture earnings

IS RENTOKIL INITIAL about to return to the takeover trail?

Woolwich jumps on rumours of BoI takeover bid

Market Report

Market Report: Perpetual motion as buyers search for corporate deal

PERPETUAL was in motion yesterday as speculative buyers scoured the financial sector in search of the next corporate deal.

Royal Bank considers hostile bid for Barclays

THE ROYAL Bank of Scotland is debating internally whether to mount a pounds 36bn hostile takeover bid for Barclays Bank, one of Britain's most prestigious high street institutions, after being repeatedly rebuffed in its attempts to secure a friendly merger.

Market Report: Sainsbury's isn't cheap, but it is on the sale shelf

THE RUMBLE of giant deals echoed through the market yesterday, and Sainsbury was right in the thick of it.

Outlook: Pride and ego breed a banking farce

WHAT A cock-up. The recriminations were flying thick and fast last night as Bank of Ireland's proposed merger with Alliance and Leicester collapsed in a heap. It was always rather hard to see the point of this marriage of traditional Irish retail bank and converted British building society. Even as an example of cross border consolidation, it looked a less than overwhelming deal, and from the start both sides were struggling to sell its merits to the City.

Accusations fly as A&L and Bank of Ireland talks fail

ALLIANCE & LEICESTER, the building society turned bank, yesterday abruptly called off merger talks with the Bank of Ireland amid a welter of recriminations over who was to blame for the collapse of their planned pounds 12bn crossborder banking deal.

Market Report: Bullish trading rumours hoist Bunzl higher

THE PAPER and plastic group Bunzl put in a steely performance yesterday as buyers piled in on hopes of corporate news. The much-restructured group soared 26.5p to a 12-month peak of 318p on huge volume of over 8.3m shares. According to the trading floor's rumour mill, Bunzl could issue a bullish trading statement in the short term.
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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
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone