Hugh Hefner

John Walsh: What I learnt at the Playboy Club

The Slutwalk business has had repercussions. Men and women have been squaring up to each other all over the place. At a literary salon on Saturday night, a young woman whom I'd never met before waved her cigarette at me and said: "Why do you wear all those rings? Are you gay or something?" to which I replied, "No, I just like personal adornment."

Playboy controversy? I'm all ears

Playboy's attempts to win over Indonesian readers have ended in protests and prison. Here, though, it's business as usual, says Ian Burrell

New Playboy club to open

When Hugh Hefner announced back in the early sixties that his Playboy bunnies were coming to London, there were howls of derision from some detractors who prophesied that Britain would never fall for the fluffy-tailed hostesses in the way that America had.

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50 years of the bunny girl: Hugh Hefner on life with a controversial

It's now 50 years since the first Playboy Bunnies donned their tails, waggled their ears and performed the strange contortion known as the Bunny Dip to serve drinks to their suit-and-tie-wearing customers. When the original Playboy Club opened in Chicago in 1960, the ideal customer was "somebody with money and taste", as Hugh Hefner, the brand's now 84-year-old founder, tells me raspingly from his LA mansion. And he got such beaux sabreurs in droves to the Chicago, New York, London and myriad other Playboy establishments that were to follow. The Bunnies and what he calls their "clean, healthy, girl-next-door beauty" were, of course, the come-on – and, according to Hefner, the most crucial decision he made was to add collars and cuffs to their uniform: "Before that," he declares, "it looked like a bathing suit; they gave it elegance."

Hollywood sign spared from developers

The Hollywood sign has been spared from urban sprawl and will stand unobscured to welcome future actors, writers and Austrian bodybuilders, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

Did The Runaways start pop's sexual revolution?

Cherie Currie's knickers changed the course of popular music history. When, in 1976, she appeared on stage in a basque, fishnet stockings and her pants, which might have been the standard attire if you're handing out cocktails at a Brewer Street clip joint but not so much if you were a 16-year-old girl straight out of a high school in Encino, she prematurely and unknowingly fired the starting gun in a sexual arms race which has dominated pop ever since.

Hit & Run: Antarctic undies

It's a winter's morning on a blustery station platform. A line of inappropriately attired, angry people produce storm clouds of breath. Red ears, a loss of feeling in the fingers and chapped lips can do that to a commuter. Then someone saunters past. They're wearing a combination of super-light, wind-proof and water-resistant technology stuffed with down feathers. The warmth hugging their body is matched only by the heat generated by their self-satisfied cheeks.