News Unspoken: Netmums’ Siobhan Freegard says child mental health is a taboo subject

Parents are often wide of the mark when it comes to their youngsters’ fears

Girl 'was assaulted in pool': Five-year-old alleges sex attack at Esther Rantzen's holiday home

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl was allegedly sexually assaulted in the swimming pool at Esther Rantzen's country retreat, a court was told yesterday.

Opinions: What's the most exciting thing you've ever found?

JOHN PEEL, DJ: Somebody asked me if I would be interested in 170 Kenyan singles. I bought them unheard but it turned out to be a wonderful investment. They are stupendous. I've only heard about 10 of them because I don't want to spoil it by listening to them all at once. It's like getting a nice case of wine - you feel you ought to stretch it out.

Dear Esther Rantzen: That's Life] is dead, long live Esther] - the Chat Show. That's the script, anyway, but be careful, Esther, you're no Oprah Winfrey

We thought it was all over: the teeth, the striding through shopping centres in search of amusingly-shaped vegetables, the quizzical cocked eyebrow and 'But hang ons' in every show. Twenty-one years of fun, and serious stuff, too.

Parents may get drugs training

THE GOVERNMENT may provide training for parents to help them fight the war against illegal drugs, Brian Mawhinney, Minister for Health, said yesterday.

All good things must come to an end . . . that's life: Rhys Williams recalls the mix of tabloid fun and campaigning that fuelled a TV hit

IF YOU want to stick the boot into That's Life, go no further than Rowan Atkinson's rant on Not the Nine O'Clock News in 1980:

Wanted: expert help for GCSE parents

THIS is the cruellest month - an observation that one section of the population will recognise immediately: 16-year-olds taking GCSEs. No, make that two sections: 16- year-olds taking GCSEs, and their parents.

Our fight to stay with Dad: Are the courts biased in favour of women when it comes to custody cases? Marina Cantacuzino meets four brothers who believe they are

One evening late in 1991 Carolyn Evans told her husband that she was taking her youngest son to the doctor. Since the boy had a bad ear infection, there was nothing very unusual in this, but Paul Evans couldn't understand why she was so keen to take her other three children along. When she hadn't returned two hours later, he began to get worried and rang the surgery, only to be told that Mrs Evans hadn't been seen for several weeks.

Rantzen calls for pledge on bullying

ESTHER RANTZEN, the Childline chairman, is calling on the Government to amend the Parent's Charter, to give children a guarantee that schools will investigate all complaints about bullying, writes Ngaio Crequer.

Exclusive: Tory right halt sex education campaigns

THE GOVERNMENT has halted its Aids and sexual health education programmes following rows over an explicit sex guide for teenagers and a condom campaign described by ministers as 'offensive'.

Obituary: Kenneth Robinson

KENNETH ROBINSON was a man with a mission: to expose cant, muddled thinking and hypocrisy in all their myriad manifestations. The fact that he did this with optimum ridicule and scorn to radio listeners and television watchers in their millions got him into a lot of hot water. He once said, proudly, that his life as a professional irritant had been marked by a succession of sackings and suspensions.

Rhino pregnant

A RARE black rhino is believed to be pregnant at Chester Zoo, and expected to give birth in the autumn. In 1992 the rhino, called Esther Rantzen, made history as the mother of the first second-generation black rhino born in captivity.

A CRITICAL GUIDE / Long Runners: No 20: That's Life

Age: 20. Although, since plans to axe it were announced last July, the media have tended to settle for the more headline-friendly age of 21.

BOOK REVIEW / Bound for the lust outpost of Empire: The mountain of immoderate desires by Leslie Wilson, Weidenfeld pounds 14.99

A RICH vein of farce runs through Leslie Wilson's drama of turn-of-the-century Hong Kong, not least because both her protagonists are unsure of their own identities. They are further confused by wayward sexual drives, colonial clubland codes, religious zeal and random acts of spurious morality.

Child assault case

A MAN will appear in court later this month charged with indecently assaulting a six-year-old girl at the country home of Esther Rantzen. Robert Gillings, 62, was remanded on bail.

TELEVISION / By George, I think they've got it

'HE WAS simply a man whose desires had been stronger than his theoretic beliefs. If this be hypocrisy, it is a process which shows itself occasionally in us all.' No, not Kenneth Clarke defending Tim Yeo on Question Time (although, dear viewer, he had it nearly word for word), but George Eliot defending Mr Bulstrode, the banker in Middlemarch in 1871. Nothing like one of those nice BBC classic serials to take you back to basics, is there?
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick