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XL Media to float on AIM today

The Business Matrix: Saturday 4 January 2014

Hailo app grabs £20m in cab fares

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

Just to make you feel old, 2014 is the 25th anniversary of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s classic children’s book, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. “Swishy Swashy! Squelch Squelch! Hooo wooo!” and all the rest. The book has sold more than 8 million copies in 18 languages, but initially Rosen didn’t think that it would work: “The story seems to have originally been a folk song,” he says. “David Lloyd at Walker Books saw me perform it and asked me to write it down. So I added to the story and, 18 months later, I was stunned to see the beautiful pictures that Helen had created – the family adventure is from Helen’s imagination and I enjoy and admire the book almost as an outsider – but back then I couldn’t quite figure out how it would work as a book!” To celebrate, Walker will publish an anniversary edition in January and an interactive sound book in the summer, and in February the Royal Festival Hall in London will host a “promenade performance”, where children will be invited to dress up and take home a pair of bear ears. Oxenbury recalls illustrating the book: “Michael and I never met until after the book was finished, but what was wonderful about it was there was nothing described in a way that restricted me. I modelled the children and the dog on my own. The bear’s posture I modelled on a friend who had depression, with his dropped shoulders – I felt the bear was probably lonely and wanted company rather than eat the children!” So now we know. We’re not scared!

Ice-bound: Akademik Shokalskiy and passengers

Icebreakers fail to free Russian research ship stuck in the Antarctic

The penguins watching the increasingly bizarre multinational events unfolding in the Antarctic look rightly bemused.

An inquisitive Adelie Penguin next to the stranded ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which is trapped in the ice at sea off Antarctica

Rescue of Russian boat stuck in Antarctic ice delayed as Chinese icebreaker forced to turn back

The Chinese vessel has been forced to retreat after a failed attempt to reach the ship. A French vessel has already launched an abandoned rescue attempt

The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy trapped in thick Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia

Chinese icebreaker heads to rescue Russian vessel stranded in Antarctica

A Russian ship that has been trapped in thick Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve is on the verge of being rescued as a Chinese icebreaker named the Snow Dragon draws near.

Villians
No shortage of controversial owners and chairmen; Cardiff's Vincent Tan may yet end up as one of the more villainous. On the pitch, being loyal Welsh internationals won't spare the likes of Craig Bellamy, Ashley Williams and others from dog's abuse.

Is Cardiff City's Vincent Tan the worst club owner in the history of football?

We take a look at the most controversial club owners to have graced football

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in a scene from 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

Film review: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (12A) - A puffed-up dragon, but no magic

Dir. Peter Jackson;  Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, 161mins

Grace Dent on TV: Imagine – Who’s Afraid of Machiavelli?

Mr Memory, who was brought on Monday’s Newsnight to memorise the title sequence and couldn’t even remember that Jeremy bloke with the beard’s name. Gosh I love telly. 

Autumn internationals: Wales call up teenager Hallam Amos to face Tonga in 11 changes

Wales have made 11 changes for what will be Warren Gatland's 100th match as an international coach against Tonga at the Millennium Stadium on Friday, with Newport Gwent Dragons wing Hallam Amos making his debut and Ryan Jones replacing Sam Warburton as captain.

England full-back Sam Tomkins

Rugby League World Cup: England full-back Sam Tomkins picks out France's Morgan Escare as the dangerman ahead of quarter-final

The World Cup hosts meet France at the DW Stadium and home favourite Tomkins has identified hs opposite number as the man to watch

Astronaut gets sweet delivery as private company ships chocolate and other foodstuffs to International Space Station

A US company is making its debut this week as a space station delivery service – to provide the lone American aboard the orbiting International Space Station with a fresh stash of chocolate.

Hull 14 Catalan Dragons 4: Shaul shines to haul Hull past Dragons

Last month at Wembley, Jamie Shaul was denied a spectacular try that could have brought Hull back into the Cup final. Last night, the 20-year-old full-back claimed an equally good one to keep his club’s season alive.

Gareth Bale in action for Wales

Real Madrid warned that playing Gareth Bale for 90 minutes would be 'dangerous'

Wales manager Chris Coleman urges Spanish club to ease new signing in

Primark stars but sugar not so sweet for ABF

Primark is outperforming its peers but sugar looks a bit sticky, Associated British Foods said today.

Only 250,000 £20 coins are being issued

Five questions about: The £20 coin

Hang on, there is no £20 coin, is there?

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Career Services

Day In a Page

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 Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all