Sport David Beckham having his medical at Real Madrid back in 2003

With each prospective signing needing at least a five-hour examination, clubs' physios and local hospitals expect to be busy

Me And My Home: Drinks are on the house

Gwenda Brophy talks to Deborah Nichol about her converted 18th-century pub

Shaky Kent fail to return in triumph

Kent 222-8 Gloucestershire 223-4 Gloucs win by six wickets

Dawes' late double strike thwarts Kent's confident advance

Kent 291-4 v Middlesex

Letter: ITV licence fee

Sir: I have never been able to take seriously those who demand the right to opt out of the BBC licence fee (letters, 28 December) while ignoring the equivalent right to opt out of the proportion of consumer prices represented by TV advertising.

Letter: Millennium talk

Sir: As one gets older, the irritation factor grows at an exponential rate, so might I suggest the following New Millennium resolutions?

Hello there! It's the man who fell to earth

MAYBE YOU didn't know he'd ever been away, but David Bowie has hit the headlines with his decision to return to live in Britain. It seems that the pop star has been away for a quarter of a century. He has not been on Mars or some more distant planetary body, as his artistic output may have led you to expect, but Bermuda, a place more notable for its golf courses than extraterrestrials. Bowie must have a fondness for places beginning with "B" because he started life in Brixton, grew up in Bromley and first came to public attention in Beckenham. If this suburban community is not exactly the first place that springs to mind as a hot-bed of artistic creativity, it is no fault of David's, because he established the Beckenham Arts Lab (after all, it was the Sixties) in a large, dingy pub called the Three Tuns.

Hockey: Banned substance excludes Garcia

RUSSELL GARCIA, the sport's youngest Olympic gold medallist at Seoul in 1988, has been disciplined for allegedly taking a banned substance socially by Great Britain and excluded from their tour party to Australia and New Zealand in January to be announced later this week.

Chelsfield may sue over White City

CHELSFIELD, the property developer, is expected to make a multi- million-pound compensation claim against the Hammersmith & Fulham council if environmentalists scupper its plan to redevelop White City, writes Dan Gledhill.

Letter: Sword attack

Sir: You have added to the stigma carried by mood disorder sufferers by claiming that the man who attacked a south London congregation with a sword "suffered severe depression" (report, 29 November). Do you have a psychiatrist's assessment, or was that just word from local police? I suffer from severe depression, and have worked with fellow sufferers for some years. It is far more common to find guys like us who can't even get out of bed in the morning, because consciousness of living is too awful to contemplate, than to find someone who acts out any form of aggression against anyone else.

Counting sheep

A few years ago, I bought a sheepskin jacket. It cost me a fortune (and my social life for about two months). But it was worth it; not only is sheepskin incredibly warm and luxurious, but this season it's also very much back in fashion.
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam