News Metropolitan Police of officers entering a property in Marcella Road, SW9, as police targeted a notorious gang in a series of early morning raids across the UK

Senior members of one of the country’s most notorious gangs have been arrested after expanding their drug-dealing operations outside of their south London stronghold to target lucrative new markets, police said yesterday.

The Knack: How to Make a Room Look Bigger

CONTRAST IS the key. Use horizontal bands of different colours - keep them quite broad, having about five up a wall. It plays with your sense of perspective and really does make it feel as if the space has got much bigger. The more contrast there is between the stripes the more efficient the effect; white and black are the best because that really does trick your eye, but of course it's up to people whether they can live with that.

French poised for Allied Carpets bid

ALLIED CARPETS, the struggling retailer at the centre of three bid approaches, is expected to recommend an offer from Tapis Saint-Maclou, a privately owned French company, early next week.

DARK SIDE OF THE ROOM

"If you're having curtains, don't have muslin, fringing, swags or tie-backs," advises Nigel Harris, interior designer. "Think big geometric prints like those in the late Sixties: Casa Pupo, Pucci, Bridget Riley. Or plain solid colour with bold weaves or quilting can look fantastic. In either case let them hang free and simple."

Back for another curtain call

Floaty muslin and minimalist blinds are being usurped by heavier, traditional window fabrics. Lights out, says ANNALISA BARBIERI

Arts: A little more than you really wanted to see?

A show by six documentary photographers celebrates the intimacy of voyeurism.

The Sketch: Redwood's back to see Prescott completely off the rails as

"BYE BYE, bye bye," shouted Labour backbenchers as Gillian Shephard rose to speak during environment questions. The tone was one of reflective derision, but there wasn't much sting since Mrs Shephard has known she was going for months and acknowledged that she was on "borrowed time" with an attractive levity of spirit.

Theatre: lift99

Voyeurs with a penchant for hanging out in department stores should be very happy about forthcoming delights in the London International Festival of Theatre (Lift99). If you pop down to Arding and Hobbs Department Store in Clapham, you will see the Australian Urban Dream Capsule (left), featuring four guys "living" in the display windows for two weeks, 24 hours a day with - guess what? - no curtains. The 14 other events include Concierto Barroco - a picaresque stage-version of the novel of Venezuelan magical-realist writer Alejo Carpentier, and Ubu - a collaboration between South African artist William Kentridge and the Handspring Puppet Company which bases itself on the explosive information supplied to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Racing: Prescott makes a Dash for a Classic

YOUNG FAMILIES have been rushing past the gates of Heath House in Newmarket this week following news of the great master's swift deterioration.

The Big Picture: The tale of a royal hair-raiser

ELIZABETH (15) DIRECTOR: SHEKHAR KAPUR 120 MINS STARRING CATE BLANCHETT, RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH, CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON

McGough: poet and plagiarist?

Jenny Lewis was pleased when Roger McGough praised her poem at a masterclass. Then she discovered he had borrowed her idea.

Albee's back; and bleak and oblique as ever

The Play about the Baby Almeida Hamlet Barbican Full Gallop Hampstead

Property: It's curtains for burglars

AUGUST is peak burglary season. Four out of five break-ins take place when a house or flat is empty and opportunists will be looking for signs that the owners are on holiday.

Design: It has got to be red in bed

Design Lines

Fashion: Shop to shock

Rosanna de Lisle visits Moschino's European flagship store in London's West End - and finds a fitting tribute to the eccentric designer

Property: How to draw the buyers in

First impressions count when you're selling your property, and your windows on the world count most.
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick