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Manchester’s Chorlton along with Herne Hill, Muswell Hill and Dagenham in London are some of the worst afflicted areas while Mossley Hill and Waterloo in Liverpool also feature prominently

Show People: Behind a Donkey's tale: Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin

FORGET French and Saunders, forget Baddiel and Skinner. The funniest double act in television don't even appear on the screen. Andy Hamilton, 40, and Guy Jenkin, 39, are the duo who write and produce Drop the Dead Donkey. In three series since 1990, this has established itself as the sharpest sitcom made in Britain. It's a single-handed rebuttal of the Jeremiahs who wail that Britcoms are in the doldrums. It has rescued the sitcom from three-piece-suite hell.

Stadium recaptures glory days

London's only surviving velodrome, a celebrated relic of the 1948 Olympics, is regaining some of its former glory and preparing for a dynamic future.

Killer from the lonely hearts page gets life sentence

A MENTALLY ill man who battered to death a female doctor after answering her lonely hearts advertisement was jailed for life at the Old Bailey yesterday.

A game of solitaire: It's widely assumed that the lonely intellectual heroines of Anita Brookner's novels are based on herself; that she's an unhappy spinster, a victim of circumstance. She puts the record straight

'IT'S WRITTEN in tablets of stone now, isn't it,' says Anita Brookner, with quiet exasperation. 'It' is the idea that she writes the same novel over and over, and that its heroine - sad, solitudinous, dowdy, virginal - is a description of herself. In her own mind, she creates different stories with different characters, but still there's the assumption that these reveal her own character, her own story - that of a genteel Miss Lonelyhearts. 'I feel I could get into the Guinness Book of Records as the world's loneliest, most miserable woman,' she said in the year she won the Booker Prize with Hotel du Lac. And 10 years on, she's still up against an image problem.

Law Report: No compensation for child sex abuse: Regina v Home Secretary and Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, ex parte P and another - Court of Appeal (Lord Justice Neill, Lord Justice Evans and Lord Justice Peter Gibson) 4 May 1994

The decision by the Home Secretary, when revising the scope of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, to continue to exclude claims by the victims of offences by other persons living in the same household prior to the date of the scheme's revision, was susceptible to judicial review but was not, upon such review, found to be irrational.

Cycling: Obree finds ecstasy after stuttering start: Scot and his home-made bike nearly make early exit. Robin Nicholl reports

THE presence of Graeme Obree drew the biggest crowd at the Herne Hill track for 22 years yesterday, but the world champion came within inches of a quick exit before more than 2,500 spectators whipped by hail, rain and a blustery wind.

Cycling: Obree bringing it all back home: Scottish world champion makes return to Herne Hill

GRAEME OBREE returns today to the Herne Hill track where he began his climb to world domination. After stunning the sport with his achievements over the last 10 months, the Ayr-born world 4,000 metres pursuit champion will ride on the wind-swept south London track that is a corner of British cycling history.

Law Report: Journalist need not reveal source: Broadmoor Hospital v Hyde: Queen's Bench Division (Sir Peter Pain) - 3 March 1994

In considering whether it was 'necessary in the interests of justice', within the meaning of section 10 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, to require a journalist to reveal the source of a leaked confidential report, the court could take into account whether or not the organisation seeking the order had first made any inquiries or attempted on its own behalf to discover the source of the leak.

Train derailed

A locomotive and four carriages were derailed when two trains collided near Herne Hill station, south-east London.

Dilemma: Should Dr Jekyll be invited to the party?

When Miranda asked whether it was possible to drop a good friend from her party guest list because she couldn't bear to invite her drunken husband too, she added those sad little words 'without hurting her feelings'.

New peers

The following is a list of recently created peers with their titles as gazetted:

Female GP is found battered to death

A DOCTOR was found battered to death outside her flat yesterday.

Cycling: Rivals unseat record holders

CHRIS BOARDMAN and Graeme Obree, British cycling's men of the hour, were feted and beaten all in an afternoon on the final day of the British Track Championships at Leicester.

Sports Letters: Booting out football

Sir: I would like to point out an error printed in your cycling article (9 April). Namely, that we have never advocated, nor would we want football to be 'booted out' of Herne Hill Stadium. The grassed area inside the track is of no use whatsoever to cyclists and we cannot see why our two sports should not enjoy the facility in tandem. It seems your article was based solely on an interview with Graham Bristow, and without reference to any other users, or indeed the landlords, Southwark Council. Mr Bristow talks of an abundance of football pitches. This may be true, but not of the standard offered at Herne Hill.

Cycling: All chained up and nowhere to go as the rain beats the riders at Herne Hill's reopening

The weather put a spoke in the wheel of yesterday's meeting to launch the new track at Herne Hill velodrome in south London. It will be restaged on 29 May.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition