Arts and 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.

Norma still haunted by that blue suit

Like the Princess of Wales, Norma Major was once the silent woman, a shy, smiling presence never known to utter more than a few conventional sentiments. After Dianarama, we've heard more than enough of the pushy princess. Norma Major: Behind Closed Doors, her first full-length TV interview, which is broadcast this afternoon on BBC1, forms an interesting companion piece to Diana's on-air baring, though not because you'll hear any revelations akin to "I adored him ... but I was terribly let down". In place of Squidgygate, we get the affair of the White Plastic Boots. Instead of bulimia and suicide attempts, there's the Blue Suit.

Monty's siege mentality

THE OPEN: Richard Edmondson watches another display of petulance from a player who cannot stop snapping at photographers

Going soft, and not just in the head


Labour set to axe women-only lists

Labour leaders will risk a new internal backlash today over the expected decision of the National Executive Committee to abandon the policy of reserving safe seats for women. The NEC is "almost certain" to agree not to appeal against an industrial tribunal ruling that the policy was unlawful.

Those choice words that say 'I hate you'

The Princess of Wales, it seems, can whisper a mean insult. But where's the wit, asks Peter Guttridge

Radio Clever Girls and Lost Boys Radio 4

'The programme had a rather badgering tone, never focused into a proper accusation'

Golf: Lane conquers Frost for jackpot


Lane the bounty hunter


Headlines fade, but the great ascetic battles on

MISSING PERSON; No 44: Ralph Nader

Watford's different class of banker


Cannabis inquiry backed by 27 Labour MPs

'Independent' survey: three members of opposition front bench side with Clare Short in row over legalisation of soft drug

Short says sorry as Blair reads riot act

The Shadow Cabinet will be warned tomorrow by Tony Blair to toe the line on policy or be sacked, after Clare Short gave a fulsome public apology for overstepping the mark on the legalisation of cannabis.

Leading Article: Short-circuiting the drugs debate

Clare Short's 24-hour career as a Labour front-bench spokesperson on home affairs, following her remarks to David Frost about legalising cannabis, is the sorriest illustration yet of the way that mainstream politicians are closing down debate as they scramble for the high, centre ground of public opinion.

Quietly speaking volumes

KINDRED SPIRITS: Adrift in Literary London by Jeremy Lewis, HarperColli ns pounds 17.99

Serbs feel UN 'gave the nod' to attacks

BOSNIA CRISIS: Robert Block in Grabovica talks to nationalists who doubt the West's commitment to defence of safe havens
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor