Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

Basil in Blunderland

Parents should take their children to church says Cardinal Hume, who is looking forward to retirement. Clare Garner talked to him

Letter: Embarrassing humour

PAUL McCANN asks (17 February): "Fresh from taking the bad behaviour from Men Behaving Badly . . . whatever will the Americans do to Basil and Sybil?"

They took the drink away from Fitz, the fags away from Patsy and stopped the men behaving badly. So whatever will the Americans do to Basil and Sybil?

BASIL would be livid. Fresh from taking the bad behaviour from Men Behaving Badly, excising the drinking, smoking, drugs and jokes from Absolutely Fabulous, American television has its heart set on ruining another British comedy classic.

Obituary: Karin Jonzen

Karin Lowenadler, sculptor: born London 22 December 1914; married 1944 Basil Jonzen (died 1969; one son; marriage dissolved), 1972 Ake Sucksdorff (deceased); died London 29 January 1998.

Letter: Film invasion

Letter: Film invasion

Basil the punning fox is back from his travels

Basil Brush, the glove puppet fox with the infectious laugh and the unremitting puns, is to be relaunched with his own television show next year.

Obituary: Alfred Roome

Alfred Wallace Roome, film editor: born London 22 December 1908; married Janice Adair (died 1996; one daughter, and one son deceased) died Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire 19 November 1997.

Basil plays hide-and-seek in Blunderland

Cardinal Basil Hume, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, has described his spiritual life as "more a wandering in Blunderland than a resting and relaxing in Wonderland."

Food: Square meals

Portable lunches that pack a punch

CALLS TO THE BAR: Trinity Term 1997

Lincoln's Inn

DANCE Don Quixote The Kirov, Coliseum, London

How wise of the Kirov to open the company's five-week London season with the British premiere of Don Quixote. Superbly danced and often hilariously funny, the ballet is sure to be a huge hit. The scenario, broadly similar to the Baryshnikov and Nureyev productions, is essentially the tale of Kitri, the innkeeper's daughter, who wishes to marry Basil, the barber, despite her father's ambitions. The Don, played with melancholy grandeur by Vladimir Ponomarev, wanders in and out of the action providing a diversion when the lovers need to escape, and helping to cement their union at the ballet's close.

Rugby League: English clubs taking a battering

The credibility of the World Club Championship came under fire yesterday as English clubs were again outclassed. Scores of 50-plus are not remarkable, they have become expected as the Australian and New Zealand sides demonstrate their superiority.

Purple reigns

Add basil to your tomato salad - and, hey pesto!

Letter: Abortion can be a loving solution

Sir: Cardinal Basil Hume is right to point out that many of our economic and social problems have a moral dimension. A shared sense of mutual responsibility, respect for (all) life, and a stable and caring home environment for children are goals we can all agree on.

Racing news

The racehorses formerly known as Desert Boy and Missile - useful performers for Peter Chapple-Hyam and Willie Haggas in the 1996 British Flat season, now racing in Hong Kong under the names of Oriental Express and Victory Star respectively - led home the field in the Group One Hong Kong Derby (1m 1f) at Sha Tin yesterday. Oriental Express, a 2.3-1 chance trained by Ivan Allan and ridden by Basil Marcus, won by 11/4 lengths from Victory Star, trained by David Oughton and ridden by Mick Kinane. Philip Robinson was a short-head back in third on Indigenous, while Richard Quinn, riding Citiluck, was a further two short-heads adrift in fifth. Kevin Darley's mount, We Know When, finished 12th of the 13 runners.
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