Arts and Entertainment

Every week another literary shortlist is announced, a judging panel revealed, a couple of longlists named, with a juicily controversial omission or a tediously predictable inclusion. But if The Parrots is to be believed, none is more significant than The Prize, the loftiest of all literary accolades, for which there are just three men in contention. They are The Beginner, The Writer and The Master. And for each of these men, the outcome really, really matters. In the Italian writer Filippo Bologna's smart new novel, we watch the three finalists in the countdown to the big announcement.

DIY ad draws wrath of faithful

CHRIST drove the money- changers out of the temple, but in Parma, Mammon is getting his own back.

Basketball: Tigers have another tilt in Europe

THAMES Valley Tigers, undaunted by their thrashing from the Italian champions, Buckler Bologna, at Bracknell on Thursday night, have taken up their option of more European competition by switching from the Clubs' Championship to the European Cup, writes Duncan Hooper.

OPERA / Welcome to the menagerie: Della Couling reports from Pesaro on Dario Fo's second encounter with the wit of Rossini

Dario Fo says, 'We should never forget that Rossini was a Voltairean. He had no time for sentimentality and high-flown phrases.' It has certainly not been forgotten in Fo's triumphant production of L'Italiana in Algeri at this year's Rossini Festival in Pesaro - the second onslaught on the composer by someone else who can never be accused of indulging in sentimentality (Fo directed a very successful Barber of Seville here in 1987).

Obituary: Giovanni Spadolini

Giovanni Spadolini, politician, newspaper editor and historian: born Florence 21 June 1925; political editor, Gazzetta del Popolo 1950-52; political editor, Corriere della Sera 1953-55; editor, Il Recto del Carlino 1955-68; editor, Corriere della Sera and Corriere d'Informazione 1968-72; Senator, 1972-94, elected Senator for Life 1991; Minister of Cultural Affairs 1974-76; Political Secretary, Republican Party 1979-87; Prime Minister of Italy 1981-82; Minister of Defence 1983-87; Speaker of the Senate 1987-94; died Rome 4 August 1994.

Cycling: Indurain off the pace in time trial

MIGUEL INDURAIN, the world No 1, yesterday received an early setback in the Giro d'Italia when the Frenchman Armand de las Cuevas won the opening day time trial in Bologna.

Bologna sentence

Three neo-Fascist guerrillas were sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station in which 85 people died, Reuter reports from Bologna.

Arguments for Easter: A price for redemption: In the second article in a series for Holy Week, the theological writer Elizabeth Templeton considers answers to questions about the meaning of Good Friday.

THE FIRST time my youngest son saw a crucifix, he was three, and we were in an Art Gallery in Bologna, where a baroque Christ bled copiously, body twisted with pain. Calum was appalled. 'Why's he like that?' he said.

Chess: British hopes die in Interpolis

AND THEN there were none. The last British player made his exit from the Interpolis tournament in the Netherlands when Michael Adams followed Jonathan Speelman, Tony Miles and Julian Hodgson out of the event, beaten 2-0 by a Russian Master not even ranked among the world's top 100 players.

TELEVISION / Failing to achieve life's goals

'WELL, speechless I suppose you can't be as a commentator, but I've never more felt like that,' said John Motson. His world had turned upside down, and so had his syntax. We needed a flying start - and we'd got one. Unfortunately San Marino were in the cockpit. 'Oh, a mistake by Pearce. And San Marino. I don't believe this. Ex-straw-din-ary start. Galtieri the little No 11. Ten seconds. Goodness me. Trevor Brooking, what can you say?' Trev too was struck dumb, but he knew his country was counting on him: 'I gotta say something - all right, it means we need eight goals.'

Sport on TV: Impossible dream, nightmare scenario

CONGRATULATIONS to England's travelling supporters for their astonishingly pacey performance in the pre-match national anthem last Wednesday night (Sportsnight Special, BBC 1). I clocked them in at 13.67 seconds, from start to finish - an all-time lap record which left the local military band struggling to come home in second place some four minutes later. The anthem ended up sounding like a track off The Pogues Play Your Favourite Pub Classics, Volume IV, but this is the only way to operate on the international scene. The lads had a job to do - they got in there and they did it.

World Cup Football: Taylor keeps his plans under wraps

GRAHAM TAYLOR was in defiant mood after the match in Bologna, refusing to be drawn on whether he would be resigning as England manager. 'I'm a football man and I'm pretty confident I'll be one until the day I die,' he said. 'The whole thing, the speculation that's going on, is perfectly understandable when the results are not there.

Football: Adams and Steven out of England reckoning: Taylor holds fast to his 'dream' of World Cup qualification

HE HAD been walking in the grounds with his personal PR man and came in with the Martin Luther King routine: 'I have a dream'. Unfortunately, Graham Taylor bears closer resemblance to poor old Luther Blissett, the scattergun striker they used to call 'Miss-it', and England need not so much a dream as a full-blown miracle if they are to get to the World Cup now.

Football: Taylor preparing to go out with a bang: Ripley called up to join familiar faces as manager resists recruiting young generation for England's mission improbable in Bologna

HE tried to make the squad sound interesting, but it was mostly the same old faces, and there was more interest in what Graham Taylor would be doing in nine days' time than what England might accomplish against San Marino in eight.

Football: Time to pass flame to positive thinkers: Bologna is a fine opportunity for rebuilding. But will Graham Taylor take the chance? Joe Lovejoy reports

ENGLISH football has had a wake or two these past few weeks, and the atmosphere is unlikely to rise much above the funereal on Monday, when Graham Taylor rakes over the ashes of a spent World Cup campaign to produce his last squad as manager of the national team.
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser