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It is approaching that time of the year when you take a backward look and think to yourself: what do I know now that I didn’t know a year ago?

I was naive, admits girl whose party ruined listed house

The teenager whose 18th birthday party was gatecrashed by hundreds of revellers after a "shout-out" by the Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong has admitted being "foolish and naive".

Africa Express: Music from the heart of the Congo

When Africa Express took a party of leading musicians to a war-torn nation to meet local artists, it was an intense and life-changing encounter. Ian Birrell reports from Kinshasa

Review: Poliakoff's Dickensian touch shows he deserves his privileged position at the BBC

Joe's Palace BBC1; A Real Summer BBC2; Capturing Mary BBC2; A Room With A View ITV1

Letters: Fishing industry

Careful management means the Cornish fishing industry is thriving

Alex James: The Great Escape

If all goes well this morning, I'll get "The Entertainer" ticked by Mrs Swann, my piano teacher, meaning I'll have finished Piano Book One. It's taken about 18 months of lessons. Learning how to fly only took a year. Mrs Swann says the biggest challenge has been teaching me to play quietly. As she points out most weeks, piano means "soft". Once you hit 30, life becomes one long and sometimes difficult quest for soft, I suppose.

Aurelia's Oratorio, Lyric Hammersmith, London <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fivestar -->

As artistic pedigrees go, they don't come much better than Aurélia Thierrée's. The playwright Eugene O'Neill was her great-grandfather, Charlie Chaplin her grandfather and her parents, Victoria Thierrée Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Thierrée, created the celebrated Le Cirque Imaginaire in the Seventies (in which a four-year-old Aurélia starred as a walking suitcase), which later became Le Cirque Invisible.

Duncan Cameron

Founding Secretary of Heriot-Watt

Editor-At-Large: Fifteen reasons to eat in

Admit it - you were secretly chuffed by the news that Jamie Oliver's swanky restaurant Fifteen has just been given the thumbs down by the public, scoring the lowest possible score for food, ambience and service in the latest edition of Harden's Restaurant Guide. Its dismal rating is based on reviews sent in by ordinary members of the public who paid around £65 a head for dinner. They're probably the very same people who probably shop at Sainsbury's and watch cheeky Jamie on television whipping up gorgeous dinners in a trice.

Vassell to be spared penalty notoriety

Deep in the night, the Sunderland defender Michael Gray was trying, unsuccessfully, to force his way into a nightclub and resorted to the footballer's tried and tested chat-up line to a doorman. "Don't you know who I am." A few days later after an eight-goal draw in the 1998 First Division play-off final, Gray missed the penalty that cost Sunderland the Premiership and an estimated £10m. As he climbed into a numb and silent team coach, the club's assistant manager, Bobby Saxton, shouted: "Bloody hell, Mickey, everybody knows who you are now." Those who only watch football in major tournaments will know who Darius Vassell is for a while to come. The Aston Villa striker left the pitch in tears, as everybody who has missed a penalty for England seems to have done. The exception was David Batty, who remarked that it was a game and he would not let it ruin his life.

Lancashire's title hopes take a battering

Warwickshire 342-6 v Lancashire
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions