Bageye at the Wheel, By Colin Grant

Back in the early 1970s, Luton's population is mainly white and working-class, with a handful of Afro-Caribbean families. Among them are the Grants and, in the person of the eponymous Bageye, they have a formidable paterfamilias. Bageye takes his meals alone in Victorian fashion, eating before his wife and five pickney. The pickney try to make themselves invisible, because they go in perpetual fear of their father.

Man jailed for father death fraud

A man who did not report the death of his father for nearly five months and claimed his benefit payments has been jailed for three years.

Enough is enough: hoarders often find it impossible to throw
anything away

Hoarding: The art of letting go

Hoarding can take over people's lives and homes, but only now is it being recognised as a distinct psychological disorder. Emily Jupp meets members of the first therapy group for sufferers

Kristy Bamu was tortured and drowned in a bath on Christmas Day 2010

Couple guilty of horrific witchcraft murder

A domineering football coach and his long-term girlfriend were found guilty today of torturing a teenage family member to death because they believed he was a witch.

The 10 best coffee tables

Want somewhere to to place your drinks, your feet and your magazines? Look no further than our selection...

Burglar given 22 years for OAP murder

A burglar who murdered a disabled pensioner while on licence for a string of street robberies has been ordered to serve at least 22 years behind bars.

In Basildon, Royal Court, London

David Eldridge's In Basildon is a gloriously rich, humorous, agonising and politically provocative play, but it has been staged by the Royal Court's artistic director, Dominic Cooke, in a bafflingly peculiar, not to say, counterproductive way.

Dory Previn: Singer and songwriter hailed for hersearing honesty

The confessional singer and songwriter was a key feature of 1970s popular music, with Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, James Taylor and Carole King to the fore. They sold millions of albums and on the whole, admirers were intrigued by their lifestyles and wanted to share them. Dory Previn's personal outpourings were so harrowing that fans would admire her honesty and the quality of her performances but would not want to be her.

Arifa Akbar: The day I went for tea with Britain's public enemy No. 1

Sheikh Abu Qatada let me into his home because I was a fellow Muslim. I spoke to his wife, saying Salaam a'laikum to her from the other side of the door of their slightly shabby terraced house in Acton. A few moments later a man led me into a sitting room with the curtains firmly drawn against the street outside, which was teeming with reporters and cameramen.

Harkaway says: 'I used desperately to want to be a brooding hero from literature, but I'm optimistic, healthy and fair-haired.'

One Minute With: Nick Harkaway, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Stop What You’re Doing and Read This! By Mark Haddon,
Michael Rosen, Zadie Smith et al

Not having enough time to read is a common complaint.

Album: The Little Willies, For the Good Times (Parlophone)

A second album of country covers. And while it may be that Norah Jones does not sing country like a coalminer's daughter, that doesn't mean she can't make country sing.

Teenager 'murdered for practising witchcraft', court hears

A British Congolese couple tortured a teenage boy to death on Christmas Day because they believed he was practising witchcraft in a “staggering act of depravity and cruelty”, a court heard today.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?