Arts and Entertainment Playing it by ear: Dan Skinner, Matt Berry, Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves in 'House of Fools'

Vic and Bob are back in BBC2's House of Fools. The duo explain why writing a sitcom was their biggest test yet

'This is a new disease and we are entering the unknown' Britain may still harbour CJD timebomb, warns professor

BSE INFECTION: Three decades may be needed for incubation period of the disorder that has claimed 53 lives and could yet kill thousands more

Letter: British beef war

Sir: I have just seen a Tory press release headed, "UK ministers must support Brussels over swift legal moves, warn Euro-MPs." British Tories supporting Brussels intervention? Surely not!

End to beef war is just `a hair's breadth' away, says Brussels

A DEAL to end the beef crisis is a "hair's breadth" away, the European Commission said last night. The commission launched the first stage of a court action against France and stepped up pressure on Germany, the only other EU country still maintaining an embargo. But the commission made clear that although the legal deadline had passed, a settlement of the Anglo-French crisis is finally taking shape.

BLOODY BUT UNCOWED

The film of her book, `Mad Cows', has received a vicious critical mauling. But has Kathy Lette's famous ebullience been punctured by the experience? Not a bit of it, discovered Cole Moreton

Books: Never say `Ole'! yroud to

Dea Birkett on a cool customer at the corrida

Confronting the myth of the sensitive child

BY THE time you read this, I shall have returned to the house where I was born. You may have been there with me, for the house is called Shelley Hall and it, or rather its moated island, was the star of last night's edition of the Channel 4 series Lost Gardens. They say that on the island there was once a Tudor garden created by one of Henry VIII's gardeners. The programme's task was to re-create it.

Letter: Beef cruelty crisis

Sir: How can the French any longer refuse to eat British beef? The French rugby team, having been served British beef last week, unexpectedly defeated the "invincible" New Zealand team on Sunday - proof that British beef is best. Unfortunately, the British teams were probably eating quiche.

Anger over delay on beef ban

Anger over delay on beef ban

Agriculture in crisis: `Prices halved and I lost pounds 300,000'

TOM HAIGH stands among his empty pens and cattle sheds surveying what was once a prosperous beef business, but which is now nothing.

COMPETITION LITERALLY LOST 91

This excerpt has been taken from a work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place? b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will award pounds 30-worth of book tokens to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Usual competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by this Thursday. Literally Lost 90: The book was 'Death in the Afternoon' by Ernest Hemingway. The action took place in Spain. The winner is Janet Ruane of Leamington Spa.

Constant ordeal of cost-cuts

Farmer Who Carried On

Letter: Trade bullies

Sir: If the Americans won't label their beef indicating that hormones have been used, why not let it in, but label European beef to make it clear that hormones have not been used?
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Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
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Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
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She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
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