Arts & Entertainment

It’s odd how many collaborative teams wrote sparkling comedy together but not drama; John Wells teamed with John Bird for a series of inspired political duologues called “The Long Johns”, which managed to predict the seriousness of the banking crisis, while John Fortune and John Wells found common ground to produce a now-forgotten surreal comic masterpiece.

Government ditches housing benefit cut

The Government has dropped controversial plans to cut housing benefit for long-term dole claimants, it was confirmed today.

Warning over cost of new work laws

New employment laws coming into force over the next four years will cost industry a "staggering" £22.8 billion, a leading business group warned today.

All men in Bristol should be DNA-tested, says MP

DNA samples from every man in Bristol should be screened as police continue to hunt for the murderer of Joanna Yeates, one of the city's MPs has urged.

Government 'faces immigration cap dilemma'

The Government faces an "unpalatable choice" between an immigration policy that will damage the economy or the possibility of failing to fulfil a key promise, a think-tank said today.

Coalition 'split over workers' rights'

A leading business group will today sound alarm bells about "deepening splits" in the Coalition over employment law.

Many may disagree, says Blair, but you sense that he doesn't greatly care

There was a moment at the heart of the interview when it sounded as if Andrew Marr might have borrowed a question from David Frost – his now famous suggestion to a disgraced ex-president that there was something the American people very much wanted to hear him say. The subject here, of course, was Iraq: "To all the people, looking, watching who still feel very angry and upset about this," Marr asked, "is there anything further that you want to say to them?" Mr Blair – it won't greatly surprise you to learn – declined the invitation to play Nixon. It would be inhuman not to feel sorry about those who had died, he agreed, but no, he didn't regret the decision he'd made about war.

Business grandees shun Cameron over trade job

More than three months after the coalition Government was formed, and ministerial jobs were divided up between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, David Cameron's administration has still not appointed a trade minister to promote UK business abroad.

Businesses back austerity Budget

A majority of British businesses back the emergency Budget, according to figures released by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), with 64 per cent supporting the balance between spending cuts and tax rises.

Cost of red tape 'rose £11bn last year'

British businesses have faced another £11 billion in red tape and new regulation costs over the past year, research suggested today.

'Lay foundations for growth,' BCC tells Alistair Darling

British growth will stall in 2011 as the economy struggles to overcome a series of obstacles this year, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned in its latest forecast released today.

Simon Dee, the star of the 60s who fell to Earth, dies aged 74

His shows attracted audiences of 18 million, his guests were the cream of entertainment. But fame proved to be a fickle thing ...

Pythonesque, Udderbelly's Pasture

And now for something if not completely different, then at least reassuringly familiar.

Donald's 64 leaves rivals in shade

When a professional golfer reels off eight birdies in nine holes he tends to leave most, if not all, of his rivals in the shade, including Tiger Woods. So it was for Luke Donald at the Memorial tournament in Ohio last night as the staggering run he called, with some understatement, "a hot streak" helped him to a 64 and a clubhouse lead.

Two-thirds facing a pay cut or freeze

More than two-thirds of British companies plan to cut or freeze their workers' salaries this year, the British Chambers of Commerce said yesterday, as it warned that private sector employers face a desperate battle to survive the recession.

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