This was the football week dominated by the men who never kicked a ball professionally and did not even manage a pub team but who presume to shape the future of the national sport. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they re-entered the woodwork?

Monarchy should go, says a third of TV poll

More than one-third of the British public no longer wants a monarchy, according to a phone-in poll after a live television debate on the future of the institution.

Unrepentant Norris romps and tells

The ex-minister delivers his embarrassing goods on the eve of the Tory conference. By John Rentoul

Have short-wave, will travel

What essentials should you not leave behind, once toothbrush and passport are packed? Leading globetrotters offer their suggestions

Tories braced for 'Clark Diaries 2'

Top Tories are bracing themselves for embarrassing revelations by their former colleague Steven Norris, the ex-minister who famously had five mistresses.

Great walking. Beautiful scenery. A rambler's paradise ...if someone doesn't stop you finishing the journey

Walkers in England and Wales have a one in three chance of completing a two-mile walk on rights of way

Norris tipped to lead Tory election fight

Steve Norris, the Minister for Transport in London, is being tipped by senior Tory backbench colleagues for a campaigning role in the run- up to the general election.

Long and rocky road from nowhere to Knaresborough

Norman Lamont stood on the staircase of the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate, last night looking like the cat that had got the cream, writes Colin Brown.

Scotch-and-soda, sperm and the divine spark

"IT'S JUST your sort of thing," they said. "It's called Sperm Wars. It explains how our sexual behaviour is all about promoting competition between, you know, ugh, nasty sperms ugh ugh, to fertilise the egg. We thought you'd like to review it. We'll leave it behind the bar downstairs in the club."

Gear freaks / The cyclist

Also known as: ruff stuffer (mountain bike cyclist), roadie (competitive cyclist), tourer (recreational cyclist), commuter (cyclist who cycles to work), cycle courier (cyclist who cycles for work).

`Whatever you have heard, all plants are edible'

Did you know that gorse flowers make a delicious addition to green salad and that ground acorn is a stimulating substitute for coffee?

Whips? Canes? Silly Monkeys!

Two years after her conviction for assault, Marianne Martindale, female disciplinarian, has resurfaced. Rosie Millard met her

Messing about with boats: Martin Scudamore discovers the water sports at the heart of the Lea Valley's appeal

Something about a canal boat implies a solitary sort of existence, cruising along quiet backwaters with only the coots and moorhens for company. You may have the family on board, and exchange friendly greetings with the occupants of the other vessels that you meet at locks, but essentially you are in a little waterborne space of your own.

Time fails to fade memories of Marie: The discovery of little Rosie Palmer's body stirs sad and bitter recollections of another killing. Hester Lacey reports

BRENDA PAYNE'S neat living-room is hung with photos. There are portraits of her eldest daughter, Julie, and little granddaughter, Charlotte, four years old, and of her youngest daughter, Charlene, eight last week. There are big colour photos of Brenda herself, looking glamorous in a smart dress and sleek hairdo. There are, however, no photos of her husband or son on display. There are also old photos, blurred and unfocused, of her middle daughter, Marie; but none of Marie growing up, none of her aged above four.

Tories in Turmoil: Constituency 'will not deselect Norris': Affair closed: Junior minister will not be deselected, writes Will Bennett

STEVEN NORRIS, the junior Government minister who last year was revealed to have had a string of affairs, is not in danger of being deselected by his constituency Conservative association.

Embattled MPs face deselection: Tory 'Back to Basics' morality net widens

TWO of the three MPs at the centre of Tory 'Back to Basics' scandals were facing the prospect of deselection last night as the party's high moral tone was adopted with gusto at grassroots level.
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas