The conversation: Former England cricketer Ian Botham gets down to (beefy) business and assesses our chances at The Ashes

You're working with Beefeater at the moment as their 'Boss of Beef'. What does that involve?

Postcard from... Szentendre

Yom Kippur: Why I'll be fasting and reflecting for the first time since I was 13

It wouldn't do any of us any harm to fast completely for a day - not just on the Jewish Day of Atonement

Musician Luke Haines

Music review: Luke Haines, The Borderline, London

"Hangman hangman, hang me a man, any old man will do," Luke Haines maintains on "A Badger Called Nick Love" from the 45-year-old's characteristically eccentric (and menacing) new concept record, Rock and Roll Animals.

Lamb's liver with herb freekeh

Serves 4

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

'Gender wars' flare with vengeance over Australia opposition's crude joke at Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Australia's "gender wars" have reignited with a vengeance, with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, warning that politics will be dominated by "men in blue ties" if her Labor government loses power, and the opposition Liberal Party embarrassed by revelations about a fundraising dinner menu containing crude references to Ms Gillard's physique.

Before The Party by Rodney Ackland
based on a story by Somerset Maugham
directed by Matthew Dunster

Theatre review: Before the Party, Almeida, London

Sheer, spiky bliss

Great British Menu: Foie gras is neither great nor British

Why would the BBC be willing to appear to support such a barbaric process?

Harriet Walker: Why I don’t like to let go of anything

I have never been very good at letting go. I hoard emotions and belongings like a squirrel facing polar night. I consign dates and events to eternal memory. I etch them on my heart, and use them the way you do a counter in snakes and ladders; I never let anything go.

Anthony Rose: Could wine be embroiled in a similar scandal to horsegate?

Is there an ideal wine match for horse? Of course we all prefer a spot of dressage or a flutter at William Hill to eating them, and the sentimental taboo creates panic when we find horsemeat in our processed foods. How could you eat a Black Beauty, an Arkle or a Dobbin? I was horrified when I went to France as a teenager and came across shops called Chevaline. Not cheval, I whinnied: how could they? But staying with a family that reared horses in Africa, I soon learnt to live with the idea and wash it down with their mature claret.

GrEAT British, 14 North Audley Street, London W1

British food 'barbarous'? Clearly, Orwell never got to eat at this Mayfair café

Celebrity chef and restaurateur, Raymond Blanc

Raymond Blanc's lamb's liver 'risked lives'

Chef's brasserie continued to serve dish despite food poisoning, court is told

Being Modern: Meaty fads

That a certain dish or ingredient should be in fashion is no new thing: think 1970s, think fondue and Black Forest gâteau, while anyone who dinner-partied their way through the 1990s may still be sick of the sight of a sun-dried tomato. But we do seem to live in ever more faddy times. Despite the recession, restaurants keep popping up, and we'll queue around the block for whatever is deemed hot stuff.

Hagman says: 'I did bring a lot to the role of JR. I'm from Texas in real life, see, and I have that state of mind. It’s a type of arrogance. You Brits used to have it; the arrogance of imperialism'

Larry Hagman: 'I was drinking five bottles of champagne on set, but I was never drunk'

My accountant was very happy when they told me They were bringing 'Dallas' back and wanted JR to return I said yes. Why? I wasn't doing anything else, Linda [Gray, who plays Sue Ellen] and Patrick [Duffy – Bobby Ewing] told me they were interested, so how couldn't I be?

Loyd Grossman quit 'Masterchef' in 2000

Food: Loyd Grossman to star in 'Eggs Factor' show

He has deliberated, cogitated and digested for long enough. More than 10 years after he quit the original Masterchef, Loyd Groooossman of the long vowels will activate his TV tastebuds again as a judge on Simon Cowell's new cookery show.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee