Diary: Tara gives it both barrels

To a gala dinner celebrating the 80th anniversary of the famed Foyles literary luncheon, where I learnt a thing or two about the perils of book signing (which, naturally, I'm filing away for future reference). "The worst thing about being an author," a tired and emotional Tara Palmer-Tompkinson assured me as she arrived, "is having such a bloody long name. My book signings take ages!"

BBC criticised over premature poppy wearing

Presenters race to pin on remembrance flowers early – before two-week appeal begins

Diary: Sincere apologies, and thinly veiled contempt

We begin with gravely distressing – though unimpeachably exclusive – news from the High Court, where the first libel-related contempt case in memory seems imminent.

Former MSP Tommy Sheridan "couldn't afford scrap News of the World court case'

Former MSP Tommy Sheridan "couldn't afford" to pull out of his legal proceedings against the News of the World, despite admitting to party colleagues allegations made in the newspaper about his private life were true, a court heard today.

Cultural Life: Jeffrey Archer, Novelist

Books
I have just read 'Up at the Villa' by Somerset Maugham, which has been re-issued by Penguin. It's set in Florence in the late 1930s and has a wonderful atmospheric feel, reminding us how very stiff upper-lipped the British used to be. It's fun.

Nevin's Notes (13/04/10)

An alternative take on the election

Nicholas Lezard: Hay is lovely, except for the festival

Having a way with written words is no guarantee of being a decent orator

Virginia Ironside: Being sent away to live with boys is no preparation for adult life

To any woman who's been involved with a man who had the misfortune to be sent away to public school, Professor Leonard's research will come as no surprise. Because we can assume that, since there aren't that many all-boy day schools, and that most boarding schools are private, the men in question are those creatures who have been sent away from home far, far, too young for there not to be some sort of damaging impact on their mental health.

The Chain of Curiosity, By Sandi Toksvig

This rumination on life's flotsum and jetsum reads like a voiceover of Toksvig's reassuringly whimiscal Radio 4 programme, Excess Baggage, complete with her lilting delivery, and inspires much the same wonderment and gentle chortles.

Boyd Tonkin: 'Back to the shop, Mr John': snobbery lives

The Week In Books

Inside Lines: Britain's superkids give great week of sport a golden Finnish

Tom Daley – and his blubbing dad – have been hogging the headlines in Rome but elsewhere in Europe more British kids were brilliantly emphasising that the nation's got real talent.

Observations: Come to the butterfly ball

What do Kate Winslet, Ricky Gervais and Tony Blair have in common? Aside from a propensity for making embarrassing speeches, that is. The answer, unexpectedly, lies with butterflies.

Michael Onslow: We need old lags in the Lords

I'm a Conservative. I like anything that looks like an ox cart but pulls like a Ferrari, and I think the House of Lords is a perfect example. It is an institution with immense virtues. The majority of people there are there on their honour, and they behave honourably. That is why everybody is so upset about the allegations. It really hurts.

Brian Viner: I share Fay Weldon's bafflement

Is the literary analysis industry made out of blancmange?
News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Career Services

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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India & Nepal
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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?