Sport ‘Mike loves his birds,’ I used to joke but nobody was laughing by the end of the tour

Before The Hangover I and II, before Spike Lee weaved his magic off Broadway in New York and before Mike Tyson was a nice guy, it was my onerous duty to take the big lad up on stage to perform for his fans.

Chris McGrath: Bolger takes New Approach on misguided path as Henrythenavigator sets true course

It is one thing for racehorses to scorn logic. Over time, in fact, they teach us to expect little else. But it is quite another for their masters to be infected with the same aversion.

Small business profile: Running like clockwork

A former computer salesman has helped revive the fortunes of a business from another era. Kate Hilpern reports

Blackburn Tovers 3 Derby County 1: Hughes hitches a ride with Santa Cruz's rising star

It is said a manager has a tendency to shape a team in his own image and for Blackburn that can only be good news. Mark Hughes' side match the hunger and commitment he showed as a player and, crucially, the potency in attack that marked him out as a feared predator at Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea. It takes one to know one and Hughes' record when it comes to purchasing strikers is impressive indeed. Last season Benni McCarthy netted 24 goals in his first campaign following a summer move from Porto, this time Roque Santa Cruz has taken on the mantle and needs one more in Rovers' final match at Birmingham to equal that tally.

Cumani seeks Derby encore with Curtain Call

Not even Derby colts can read newspapers, so he was hardly going to succumb to stage fright. And it was hard to imagine what else might prevent Curtain Call beating the only two rivals prepared to stand in his way at Nottingham yesterday. Sure enough, he took his cue readily, without remotely disclosing whether he can justify odds now as short as 6-1 for Epsom.

Glory days act as burden: The Invincibles haunt Forest thirty years on

In 1978 Brian Clough's 'bunch of misfits' took First Division by storm. Now the third-tier team pray for play-off success

Improving Don't Panic can step up to next level

That experienced and erudite observer, John Gosden, pointed out during the week that as much can be gleaned from what a horse does after it passes the winning post as before. He was talking about his own charge, Derby contender Centennial, at Newbury last year and the fact it took Jimmy Fortune a while to anchor the power beneath him once the race was over. Anyone watching Don't Panic at Doncaster three weeks ago would have seen what he meant. The four-year-old had carried Alan Munro past the St Leger start before he started to drop though the gears.

Six children quizzed over web fights

Police arrested six children for allegedly using a social networking website to organise gang fights.

You Write The Reviews: Frankie Boyle, T5 Club, Derby

Regular viewers of Channel 4's Mock the Week tap into a rich vein of humour from some of the sharpest knives in the comedy drawer, including the presenter, Dara O'Briain, Andy Parsons and the young pretender Russell Howard. But one of the keenest blades is Frankie Boyle, the caustic one with the spectacles. So it was with high hopes that I went to see the scathing Scotsman on the Midlands leg of his first national tour.

Households face 4% rise in council tax

Council tax bills are set to rise by around 4 per cent, independent researchers warn.

Birmingham City 1 Derby County 1: Villa pushes Birmingham into the deep end

It tells you everything about the pervasive morbidity of this encounter that we were barely halfway through a goalless first half when the referee felt it necessary to rebuke Marc Edworthy, who was vacillating over a throw-in, for time-wasting.

Train driver hurt in bridge crash

A train driver was seriously injured when he became trapped in his cabin after hitting a footbridge today.

Murtagh takes over Fallon's role at Ballydoyle

Johnny Murtagh was last night confirmed as Kieren Fallon's replacement as the No 1 jockey to the Coolmore operation. The 37-year-old Irishman, currently in Dubai, said: "I'm absolutely delighted with the appointment, and to be riding for John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith."

Russia becomes unlikely human rights guardian

A confident, even swaggering, Russia takes the helm of Europe's foremost human rights body today, ready to deflect accusations that it has failed to live up to the standards set by the institution it will lead for the next six months.

Third World cash exodus 'points to laundering'

Money flowing into UK bank accounts from developing countries has surged in the past few years, dwarfing Britain's official aid budget, figures show.

Wolverhampton W 1 Derby County 1

Boo boys target Wolves as Derby make point
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?