Environment A baby northern gannet stands next to one of its parents

The first “world championship” for eating pickled baby gannets, known as “guga”, has sparked new calls for a total ban on the Hebridean tradition of hunting chicks by clubbing  them with sticks.

Pandora: Knives out: Gordon's girls defend their boss

Could Gordon Ramsay's luck be changing? Ever since he was accused of liaising with "professional mistress" Sarah Symonds, the boorish chef has been dogged by a string of bad headlines, running the gamut from ready-meals to broken banking covenants.

Amy Jenkins: If I watch a crime show on TV, will it make me break the law?

Compliance. It's a spooky word, like some kind of euphemism employed by the Ministry of Torture in a totalitarian regime. If a female is "compliant" you imagine her as a limp doll that might be anyone's for the taking. But compliance, apparently, is big in television. And Jimmy Mulville and Stephen Fry have been making industry headlines by lambasting broadcasters at the Edinburgh TV Festival for what they call the box-ticking culture of "compliance" in television.

Ellie Levenson: Where jokes are concerned, context is all

Humour is a way we work through our feelings about difficult issues

Blumenthal and Ramsay top restaurant guide

Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant was rated as a perfect 10 in the new edition of the Good Food Guide 2010, its editor said today.

Pandora: Barschak struggles at the Edinburgh Fringe

It Is just over six years since Aaron Barschak donned a merkin, pink dress and Osama bin Laden disguise to clamber over the walls of Windsor Castle and storm Prince William's 21st birthday party.

Andrew Lawrence: Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune! Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

With the fractious energy born of frustration that puts one in mind of an evil Lee Evans merging with the verbal assaults of the "equal opportunities offender" Jerry Sadowitz, this taut, scrawny ginger comic, with his strangulated London twang, fires his ire any which way.

Swearing outbursts 'can lessen pain'

There could be a good reason why hitting one's thumb with a hammer is likely to unleash the Gordon Ramsey within, say scientists.

Glasgow: a city on the up

Who’d have thought that a city whose most famous culinary export to date has been the deep fried Mars Bar could have also produced arguably the world’s best chef and definitely the most famous, Gordon Ramsay.

Sport on TV: Cold comforts for Cracknell as bottom falls out of his world

At last week's Henley Regatta, gentlemen in the Members' Enclosure were allowed to take off their jackets for the first time in 33 years, so intense was the heat. Double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell may have allowed himself a wry smile. Six months ago he was trekking across Antarctica in the first race to the South Pole since Scott and Amundsen in 1911. It must have been tempting to tip the champagne bucket over his head as he mopped his brow with a sweaty slice of smoked salmon.

'Turbulent' year for Gordon Ramsay as profits dive 90%

Profits at Gordon Ramsay's UK restaurants plunged nearly 90% in a "turbulent" year in which the celebrity chef was forced to pump his own money into the business.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1

Yes, all right, I DO know there's a recession on. But this isn't just any old restaurant review. It's that special once-a-year occasion when I get to blow the Independent's budget on a spectacular dinner with the winning bidders in our annual charity auction, raising money for aid projects around the world. This year's highest bidder was Roger Hambury, who secretly bid for the lot as a Christmas present for his wife Fleur, knowing she had long harboured fantasies of becoming an undercover food critic.

Terence Blacker: The problem with society is everyone else

That great and virtuous institution, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has for the past two years been studying why British society is in such a terrible mess. It has consulted with commentators and thinkers, and has conducted a survey of 3,500 people. Now and then, tantalising insights into its progress have been released to the press. A little over a year ago, we learnt that 10 social evils of our time, including selfishness and the decline of community values, had been discovered.

Australian PM is latest to join the 'I hate Ramsay' club

Rudd steps in after chef likens TV presenter to image of pig-faced woman

Leading article: Cooking up a storm

Gordon Ramsay has found himself in another kitchen nightmare Down Under. Last year, the celebrity chef was hauled across a roaring barbie by the Australian senate for his swearing. And now he has been plunged into scalding water over some ungallant comments about a female Australian TV host. No less a figure than the country's prime minister has been moved to describe Ramsay as "a new form of lowlife".

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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible