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Credit Crisis Diary: 06/06/2009

Charity begins at a hedgie's home

To the ARK annual charity dinner, where City financiers are keen to prove that while they may be down, they're very much not out. The bash for children's charities was organised by Arpad Busson, the hedge fund manager, with the help of partner Uma Thurman, the actress.

Parties: Boho-toffs descend on Merriscourt for Flora Fairbairn's private view

Last weekend, 600 boho-toffs and their famous friends – including willowy model Saffron Aldridge – converged on the Oxfordshire hamlet of Merriscourt for the private view and party of London's über-connected art curator, Flora Fairbairn.

Party Of The Week: Beam us up to Skylon

After the London premiere of J J Abrams' must-see movie 'Star Trek' on Monday was the glitzy party at Skylon. Guests including Jonathan Ross and Jeremy Clarkson sipped Enterprise and Star Fleet cocktails. Many of the Enterprise crew turned up – Zachary Quinto (Spock) and screen siren Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Eric Bana (Nero), John Cho (Hikaru Sulu) and Karl Urban (Dr Leonard 'Bones' McCoy). Located within the Royal Festival Hall, Skylon overlooks the River Thames, with floor-to- ceiling windows.

Loo-ser! Pranksters trap Clarkson

Pranksters trapped Jeremy Clarkson in a portable toilet - and posted a video on the web to add to the embarrassment.

Sachs family 'flabbergasted' at Ross's TV Bafta nomination

Not so long ago, Jonathan Ross was the television world's persona non grata who had stepped over the line of decency after making a lewd phone call on a radio show. Yesterday, all was apparently forgiven when his television chat show was nominated for a Bafta award.

Revealed: producer of Top Gear drives a Honda Jazz

Andy Wilman tells Sean O'Grady of his economy drive – just don't let on to Jeremy Clarkson

Hazel Blears: You ask the questions

Is this the worst recession for 100 years? And what motorbike should I buy?

Offended? You respond to Michael Bywater's attack on political correctness...

Think before you speak

What do anti-PC lobbyists want? The right to call out insults at every passing OAP, fat person, black person, veil-wearing person, disabled person? Will the new political correctness be unlimited offensiveness? Since when did the right to be as vilely insulting as one likes become the mark of an advanced society? If people want to go back to the days when landlords could advise, "No blacks, Irish or dogs" with impunity, just go on giving the foul-mouthed bigots a licence to present themselves as brave upholders of free speech. Otherwise, think before you speak.

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Mad Men: A true guilty pleasure

Its lack of political correctness is what makes it great, says Gerard Gilbert

Clarkson insults Brown's intelligence

He has jokingly referred tolorry drivers as men who "murder prostitutes", blamed this week's snow on "too many green people in the world not buying enough Range Rovers", and over the years has generally acted as a global ambassador for the politically incorrect.

‘Mr Loophole’ helps Fiennes escape driving prosecution

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has escaped prosecution over a speeding charge thanks to the efforts of the lawyer known as Mr Loophole.

Ross 'facing £4.5m pay cut'

Jonathan Ross faces a £4.5 million pay cut as part of the BBC's cost-cutting drive, it was reported today.

Dom Joly: I'm sick of mingling with the rich and famous

Finally, the breakthrough. After six years slogging away on the Cotswolds social scene desperately trying to avoid Ruby Wax and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, I get the call. I'm going to meet the kingpin, the head of the social salon: Jeremy Clarkson.

The Killers, Royal Albert Hall, London<br>The Fall, Hove Centre, Hove

The Killers' flirtation with U2 goes on, but at least they've lost the beards
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own