The latest stories and all the transfer rumours on Thursday 8 January

`Crash' faces ban from West End

Crash, the film described by one critic as "beyond depravity", may be banned from London's West End cinemas even if it is cleared for screening in other parts of the country.

City Diary: Challenge Angela: no leaping around, just regulatory structure

You've had Challenge Anneka. Now prepare for "Challenge Angela", starring the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Angela Knight MP.

Fans clash in central London

Hundreds of rival football fans clashed in Trafalgar Square last night, disrupting the centre of London after the England-Scotland football match, writes Matthew Brace.

Capital return by radio station

Sparkling results from Capital Radio have put UK commercial radio solidly in the media spotlight - and with good reason. Radio has doubled its share of national advertising to about 4 per cent in only three years, and has room to grow. Capital, one of the largest and best-managed radio companies, is taking full advantage, reporting pre-tax profits of pounds 26.5m in the year to September, up 48 per cent.

What is this? Has he sighted my doppelganger hanging out on the King's Road, pinching my parking meters on her way to buy light bulbs?

I arrive at a central London salon to get my hair cut. Except the receptionist tells me thatmy appointment was cancelled earlier that morning. By me.


Latest chart successes the


Everywhere you look this summer, the superheroes are taking over the big screen: Tank Girl, Batman Forever and now, Judge Dredd. The film opens here on 21 July, with the fascist, steel-jawed law enforcer played by Sly Stallone. But there is one pair of tickets to be won to the Radio 1 premiere of the movie at the Empire Leicester Square on 19 July. These include an invitation to the celebrity launch party straight after the movie at the GLC building. Tickets are courtesy of the Pepsi Challenge taste test which is currently touring the UK and returns to London at the end of August.

Emma is hardly a dignified Lord Carrington

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

How to tell your caf society from your demi-monde

Hester Lacey on the definition of smartness (nothing to do with cafs)



Life is just a bar of cherries

Simon Davies meets a young David who is beating the fruit machine Golia ths at their own game - or does he just think he's winning?

Where shall we meet?: Le Beaujolais WC2

Question: where do I find a nice wine bar near Leicester Square?

Hotel facelift

The Pastoria Hotel, Leicester Square, has been acquired by the neighbouring Hampshire Hotel and will be upgraded.

Centrefold: Street theatre: Beware low-flying luvvies in Leicester Square

All hell breaks loose in Leicester Square at 10.30am on Saturday with The Fair on the Square. Entertainment is being laid on thick and fast, climaxing at noon with the start of the '3rd Great Theatreland Bedrace. Under the beady eye of compere Gary Copacabana Wilmot, costumed teams from every show from Phantom of the Opera to The Mousetrap will be racing hospital beds around the square in a series of nail-biting heats (right). In last year's final, Crazy for You musical director Jae Alexander was pushing a bed. 'I've great shoulders from all the conducting, but nothing else. It nearly killed me.'

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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
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