News Emergency workers battle to contain the flames

Grade-two listed Victorian terrace was left a shell

Savannah Marshall has a fighting chance of a boxing gong

And the rest? High hopes from triathlon to taekwondo for Team GB at London 2012

There are many reasons for GB to expect beyond the main events. Robin Scott-Elliot pinpoints further podium potential

Saving grace: Paul Simon's voice isn't 'faultless', but his capacity as an emotional performer is as strong as ever

Tom Sutcliffe: It's hard to be a critic when you love something

One of the commonest of all critical vices is reviewing the work you wish you'd experienced instead of the one you actually did. But it struck me this week that there are actually two versions of this vice – opposed to each other by almost 180 degrees.

Keri-Anne Payne all set for Olympics

London 2012 moved a step closer today for the 44 swimmers that will represent Great Britain as they arrived at the Olympic village for a brief stay before heading to their holding camp in Edinburgh in midweek.

'My songs come out of a mature viewpoint on my life' - Elizabeth McGovern

Lady Cora turns to rock'n'roll – but don't expect youthful rage and heartbreak

The Downton Abbey actress came late to music but says it is her passion

Reunited Blur to play live radio gig

Blur are to play a live show for BBC radio ahead of their Hyde Park comeback and warm-up gigs.

Blur to play live on Twitter

Reunited Blur are to debut new songs on Twitter.

The Olympic Stadium will require extra stewards because of fears of overcrowding

Olympics to be delivered £476m 'under budget'

With 43 days until the Games, the Government still has £476m left of its Olympic contingency fund, and ministers are "increasingly certain" they will deliver the event for significantly less than the £9.3bn agreed in 2007.

The Olympic Stadium will require extra stewards because of fears of overcrowding

An Olympic record? Games set to be under budget

With six weeks to go, organisers say they hope to return up to £476m to Treasury

Speculation grows on Marks & Spencer bank launch plans

Speculation was growing today that Marks & Spencer is planning to shake up the financial services industry by launching a chain of bank branches.

Keri-anne Payne prepared for anything in pursuit of open water gold at Olympics

When Keri-anne Payne dives into the Serpentine on August 9, she knows she will have to be "the ruthless one" if she is to add the Olympic open water title to the world crown she won in Shanghai last year.

Damon Albarn, confirming that Blur will perform at Olympics closing ceremony, said, 'We're rowing in, going for gold, grabbing the baton, for the high jump'

Blur's Albarn says Games are too corporate

Damon Albarn, the multi-faceted musician and lead singer of Blur, has criticised the Olympics for being "too corporate," despite agreeing to play a concert to celebrate the closing of the Games.

Tipping point: I win the 25km open water swim in Shanghai last year
Acceptable in the Eighties: SAW acts Sinitta; Rick Astley and Kylie and Jason

Never gonna give you up: The Hit Factory returns

In news to dismay many music fans, Stock, Aitken and Waterman are getting the gang back together for a reunion gig. But will Kylie come too? By Simon Usborne

Hyde Park will have a big screen

Pay £10 to watch Olympics on screen

People who missed out on Olympics tickets in the first and second ballots are to be given the first opportunity to buy tickets when the remaining 1 million go on sale in April. Games organisers are considering allowing a 24-hour headstart for the estimated one million people who bid for tickets but didn't receive any.

Hyde Park concerts reduced from next year

High-profile gigs by stars including Madonna will go ahead as planned in London's Hyde Park this summer after a decision by councillors.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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