Arts and Entertainment

A window on the real world with Danny and his diamond geezers

Outlook: Wassall should put up or shut up

ALAN JONES, the chief cable layer at BICC, is no stranger to hostile bid battles. When he was in charge at Westland he sucked GKN into a long and bloody skirmish. Eventually GKN came up with a price sufficient to allow the West Country helicopter maker to raise the white flag.

Pop: This Week's Album Releases - Public Image Ltd Plastic Box (Virgin)

DESPITE THE neat packaging, which unites the twin peaks of PiL's career - the seminal new-wave industrial-dub epic Metal Box and the solid, generic Album - there's something about the band that remains fundamentally ill- suited to the retrospective box format. It's the antithesis of the rebellious spirit they once personified. In the way it smoothes the group's spiky iconoclasm with historical pomposity, it's like a turkey voting for Christmas.

Leading Article: Slush, mush and an orgy of marketing

HE IS listed in Butler's Lives of Patron Saints in between Ubald, patron saint for protection from dog bites, rabies or hydrophobia, and Venantius, patron saint against danger from falling, or jumping and leaping. It would make just as much sense, theologically, historically and superstitiously, for card printers and helium-filled balloon-makers to sell "beware of the dog" paraphernalia on 16 May. Or "mind the gap" paraphernalia on 18 May.

Letter: Pigeon post?

Sir: Appropriate to get an explanation of "round robin" sent to Canary Wharf from Leighton Buzzard (letter, 28 December). My own round robin is outside the kitchen window; to my fat cat's disgust, he was the recipient of the remains of the Christmas turkey.

Christmas dinner in bid for freedom

NOT SINCE the Tamworth Two made their escape from an abattoir has there been such a daring dash for freedom.

Women are Christmas control freaks

WH SMITH and Family Circle magazine have done a Christmas survey which says that someone called "the average female" will buy all the Christmas food and drink, write and send all the cards, buy and wrap all the presents and do the washing-up. The only contribution that men are likely to make, the survey says, is ferrying around relatives and carving the turkey.

A half-century of jolly conundrums for Christmas

Are we going to accept that invitation from the Wilgoes to drinks on the 23rd?

Real Living: Christmas with the brats

Children can make your Christmas - into a disastrous day of tears and tension. But it doesn't have to be that way, reports Hester Lacey

The Style Police: Fashion begins at forty

At last, older women can keep up with the latest trends and still keep their dignity intact. Phew, says James Sherwood

Head to head: Give over

Do you buy Christmas cards and presents? Virginia Bottomley relieves stress by wrapping up gifts, while Cynthia Payne has more faith in other methods

Christmas Food & Drink: Taste of Christmas to come

l Can't tell the difference between your Prestige Cuvee and your Blanc de Blancs? Then join Francoise Peretti at Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor (Knightsbridge, SW1, 0171 235 5000), where the director of the Champagne Information Bureau will be hosting a tutored tasting of Champagnes on 8 December. Tickets are pounds 15.

US-style mayors for British cities

A WAVE of Labour council corruption scandals has prompted Tony Blair to draw up radical plans to bring directly elected mayors to every town and city in Britain.

Letter: Turkeys against PR

Sir: It is not surprising that many Labour and Tory politicians are opposed to proportional representation (Lord Parkinson, Right of Reply, 26 August). Any form of PR would see a substantial reduction in the number of seats occupied by Tories and New Labour (or whatever they might be calling themselves during election week). We have yet to see turkeys voting for Christmas.

Places; Heather's

If you want to repent for a Christmas overstuffed with turkey, chipolatas and pork pie off the bone, then stagger down to Heather's in south-east London. This vegetarian and vegan restaurant is Deptford's second-greatest secret (the greatest, of course, being the identity of Christopher Marlowe's killer). Twelve quid gets you unlimited access to their sumptuous buffet, which creaks with African peanut soup, caramelised onions and nutty chocolate pudding. Open for lunch (not Sat) and dinner (not Mon or Sun).

Television: Seasonal redemption via the satsuma bowl

The award for the least emollient moments of the last few days goes to the opening scenes of Mothertime (Sunday, BBC2) - a shrewdly acidic take on family life that began with an alcoholic mother belting her teenage daughter and emptying the satsuma bowl over the floor so that she could use it to catch her vomit.
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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
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Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935