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

No reason for beef ban says adviser

THERE ARE no scientific grounds for retaining the beef-on-the- bone ban, the government's Chief Scientific Adviser said yesterday.

Letter: Food of the future

Sir: Has the UK got two different governments? That's the only explanation I can come up with for the ridiculously strict rules being enforced on beef on the bone, compared with the ridiculously lax attitude regarding genetically modified food.

Farmers angry over beef ban

THE MINISTER of Agriculture, Nick Brown, will next week publish the report by Professor Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, exclusively revealed in The Independent, which favours continuing the ban on beef on the bone.

Farming Notes: The cow cannot put a hoof wrong

WHEN I mention to people that I have written a book in which the heroine is a cow, they consistently tell me there is nothing unusual in that. Lots of heroines are utter cows, whether the author appreciates it or not: Vanity Fair's Becky Sharp, Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind and that arch-cow Lady Macbeth. They think I am describing a protagonist who is a nasty piece of work, deceitful and manipulative and stubborn.

Ex-minister denies abattoir negligence

STEPHEN DORRELL clashed with the chairman of the BSE Inquiry yesterday, over the failure of Tory ministers' to stress to abattoir staff the importance of rules banning BSE-infective tissues from food.

Beef Ban Lifted: The selling of the British cow

LIFTING the export ban on British beef is one thing. Getting consumers across Europe to eat it is another. How, for example, do you say it is completely safe to eat beef without hinting at the possibility that it might have been potentially life threatening in the first place?

Rugby Union: Bulls' beef tests Welsh resolve

David Llewellyn hears the groans of the crowd as giants lock horns

Scientists create a cow-human hybrid

SCIENTISTS HAVE fused the nucleus of a human cell with an egg cell taken from a cow to create the world's first embryonic clone of an adult man.

Beef-on-the-bone hint cheers farmers

FARMERS GAVE a cautious welcome yesterday to the Government's strongest indication yet that it plans to lift the ban on sales of beef on the bone.

Travel Europe: A bull's eye view

Ronda lies in an Andalucian heartland of white-washed villages and heart-stopping heights.

Letter: Notes on the CJD connection

I CAN help Professor Stanley Prusiner understand why such a small number of people have developed new variant CJD (v-CJD) "while 10 million others with the same environmental history had not" ("Nobel winner challenges CJD link to beef", 7 June). "These people didn't go out and crave cow brains," he says. But we did all swallow infected cow brains, because until November 1989 they were routinely added to meat products. Fortunately only about 30 per cent of people are susceptible to CJD and even they have to swallow a large dose of the agent. Prusiner is also mystified by the vic- tims' youth. The 26 cases of v-CJD are so young because, being children between 1981 and 1989, they were shedding teeth which provided raw areas in their mouths for the agent to enter directly into the blood stream. This shortens the incubation period of CJD.

`I see no investment in the land'

A SHARP decline in Donald Arscott's fortunes in the past two years has cast a dark shadow over his family's future in agriculture, writes Linus Gregoriadis.

Hotelier takes on beef ban in court

A hotelier who allegedly served beef on the bone yesterday went to court to prove that the regulations banning the product were "absurd".

MPs call for BSE funding review

A LABOUR-DOMINATED committee of MPs last night reinforced the message from the countryside march in London by warning the Government against "harsh" treatment for beef farmers and criticised Jack Cunningham, the Agriculture Minister, for failing to produce a long-term plan for the beef industry in the wake of the BSE crisis.

TV Reviews: Scene by Scene with Steve Martin and Mad Cows and Englishmen

The voiceover was a bit on the drab side with its various truisms about the nature of comedy: 'It's a long walk to the microphone and it's one the comedian must do alone.'
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?