News

Wreckage of the three-tonne Eurocopter has reportedly arrived at the AAIB base in Farnborough, Hampshire

Billy Connolly joins cast of The Hobbit

Billy Connolly is going from Big Yin to tiny dwarf to complete the cast of Peter Jackson's movie version of The Hobbit.

Morag Gilmartin: Political activist and veteran of the CND movement

In the early 1960s Morag Gilmartin was active in the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Govan and Gorbals Young Socialists when Paul Foot and Gus MacDonald held sway.

Ed Miliband undergoes nose operation

Labour leader Ed Miliband has today had a successful operation to deal with the condition sleep apnoea, his office said.

Laughs in the Park, Verulamium Park, St Albans

Where the jokes come naturally

The MP's Surgery: Ed votes for a nose job

Miliband hopes for better sleep – and speech

Craig Murray: A secret history of the kilt

The fashionistas in New York went wild for men in tartan last week. Our writer extols the garment with magnificent sway

Talbot Church: Caring Kate and Wills to make Red Nose debut

The man the Royals trust...

Connolly the court jester backs fellow Scot for glory

One of the spectators in Andy Murray's courtside box during his win over Jürgen Melzer had a funny turn here last night. Billy Connolly, who is on a tour of Australia, performed at Melbourne's State Theatre after spending the afternoon watching Murray, having accepted his fellow Scot's invitation to join his entourage in Rod Laver Arena.

Andy Murray braced for tougher challenges ahead

Andy Murray continued to blaze a trail through the Australian Open draw today but the world number five accepts tougher challenges lie ahead as he bids to land a maiden grand slam title.

Impressive Murray powers into quarter-finals

When Andy Murray won his first three rounds here at the Australian Open last week without dropping a set a cynic might have suggested that he had yet to meet an opponent capable of providing a serious test.

Hundreds say farewell to musician Gerry Rafferty

Gerry Rafferty's daughter said farewell to her father by singing one of his songs at his funeral today.

'Baker Street' star Gerry Rafferty dies

The Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty, who earned his place in pop history with a string of hit singles in the 1970s, has died at the age of 63.

Gulliver's Travels (PG)

Starring: Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet

Remember the 1985 TV blackout? Only the Big Yin knew who McAvennie was

It may sound unthinkable to anybody who has grown up with wall-to-wall Premier League football, but 25 years ago this week a new season began with not a single kick accessible to armchair viewers.

Billy Connolly, HMV Apollo Hammersmith, London

From Big Yin to Big Yawn – with swearing where the jokes used to be
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own