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?
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
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Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
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Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
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Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum