Sport Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon travel to take on Exeter

If Morecambe and Wise had been blessed with Premier Rugby’s sledgehammer sense of timing, the celebrated Andre Previn sketch would have been about as side-splittingly funny as a David Cameron one-liner.

Tom Queally and Frankel end 2011 in glory on Ascot Champions Day

Frankel is a world beater – it's official

To aficionados of the Flat, reluctant to interrupt their hibernation even for Kauto Star, midwinter reliably offers one comforting ritual. And while the publication yesterday of the International Classification as usual prompted debate, not to mention dissent, unanimity was by no means confined to the identity of the most accomplished horse on the planet in 2011. For whatever different people may make of his present rating, the fact that Frankel will be around to strive for a new peak in 2012 guarantees a treat for them all.

Failed tycoon Quinn loses court case over bankruptcy

Sean Quinn, the failed property tycoon who was once Ireland's richest man, is likely to be barred from relaunching his business career after a British court ruled that his bankruptcy must be judged in the tougher jurisdiction of Ireland.

Captain Conan, ridden by Barry Geraghty, wins the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday

Mullins and Meade add to Ireland's March quest

Even in its quieter reaches, the unfolding themes of the season grow steadily more apparent. What had looked one of its least instructive weekends ultimately reiterated not only that the best novice hurdlers in Britain appear to be divided between Nicky Henderson and Philip Hobbs, but also that the Irish may have still better ones.

Delon Armitage bursts through Sale’s defences yesterday

Armitage ponders move after Irish squeak home

London Irish 21 Sale 19

Ryanair's passenger numbers fall 5 per cent after it cuts routes

Ryanair carried 4.8 million passengers in December, 5 per cent down on a year ago, Europe's largest budget airline said yesterday after it grounded 80 aircraft to avoid flying routes made unprofitable by high fuel prices.

Enda Stevens becomes Villa's first January signing

Aston Villa signing Enda Stevens eager to learn

New Aston Villa signing Enda Stevens is aiming to learn from fellow left-back Stephen Warnock after completing his move from Shamrock Rovers.

Enda Stevens becomes Villa's first January signing

Aston Villa sign left-back Enda Stevens

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is hoping left-back Enda Stevens can quickly adjust to the demands of the Barclays Premier League after completing his move from Shamrock Rovers.

Roundabout route: Azealia Banks is tipped as a top newcomer, but she has been around the block before

Azealia is a sure thing, and she might be the real thing

The industry's list of breakthrough acts is no revelation. Yet this galaxy of polished-up stars will dazzle fans and the bean-counters alike

Clinton Cards boss to refurbish stores and supply lines

Darcy Willson-Rymer, the chief executive of embattled high street favourite Clinton Cards, is looking at revamping shop layouts and streamlining supply lines as part of his strategic review.

Paul O'Connel replaces the injured Brian O'Driscoll as captain

Paul O'Connell named as Ireland Six Nations captain

Paul O'Connell will captain Ireland in this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship, the Irish Rugby Football Union has announced.

Fishing vessel is freed from Antarctic ice

A Russian fishing vessel stuck for 12 days and in danger of sinking in the frigid waters off Antarctica began a trek through 100 miles of sea ice to open water yesterday.

US warns Iran over vital oil route closure

The United States yesterday warned Iran that it would not tolerate any disruption of naval traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran's navy chief said the Islamic Republic is capable of closing the vital oil route if the West imposes new sanctions targeting Tehran's oil exports.

Michael O'Neill took Shamrock Rovers into the Europa League

O'Neill: I will restore Northern Irish pride

Michael O'Neill intends to "restore a sense of belief and pride" to the Northern Ireland national side after being appointed on a two-year contract by the Irish Football Association yesterday. The former Shamrock Rovers manager was chosen ahead of Jim Magilton and Iain Dowie to replace the departed Nigel Worthington.

Michael O'Neill led Shamrock Rovers into the Europa League

O'Neill confirmed as new Northern Ireland manager

Michael O'Neill intends to "restore a sense of belief and pride" in the Northern Ireland national side after being appointed on a two-year contract by the Irish Football Association.

O'Neill set to take the top job

Northern Ireland are set to name their new manager next week, with Michael O'Neill the favourite to succeed Nigel Worthington.

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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

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JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksJK Rowling to publish new story set in wizard's world for Halloween
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Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
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Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
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Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

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On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
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Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
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A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
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"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker