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Item believed to have been cut from stuffed head in Cork mansion safari room

CPC pays £35m for Siddons House

CPC Group, owned by Christian Candy, pictured, has snapped up part of British Land's former HQ close to Regent's Park in London for about £35m. CPC has bought Siddons House from developer Oakmayne Properties and will rent it to wealthy clients.

DVD: Jane Eyre (12)

"You must learn how barren is the life of a sinner," the sadistic headmaster Mr Brocklehurst (Simon McBurney, excellent) exhorts.

The exterior and grounds of Princess Park Manor

The new cast of neighbours: Why the bling brigade is flocking to a former asylum in north London

Princess Park Manor is attracting X Factor stars and C-list celebrities by the luxury-limo load, says Chris Beanland.

Richmond’s detached ‘mansions’ may be in Vince Cable’s sights

Cable's constituents: 'It's just another reason not to vote for him. As if I needed one'

Charlie Cooper talks mansion tax with voters in Richmond

Clifford Norris: "Evil influence" who was a malign presence during the inquiry

Clifford Norris was a major player in the south London drugs trade who reputedly used his contacts and his criminal know-how to keep his son out of the dock for the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Mad, bad and darling to know

Riots and protests by the disaffected poor with the looming spectre of "mob rule", have often troubled MPs and lords at Westminster.

English Romantic poet George Gordon Noel Byron, known as Lord Byron (1788 - 1824) being visited by his muse

Mad, bad and delightful to know: How Lord Byron became a cultural superstar

As Lord Byron takes centre stage in the West End, Boyd Tonkin explains how an outspoken champion of the poor became a cultural superstar.

Album: Air, Le Voyage dans la Lune (Virgin)

Le Voyage... is Georges Melies' 1902 film landmark – the first "sci-fi" film ever. After many years' restoration the only surviving hand-coloured print was shown at Cannes last year and Air were commissioned to compose backing soundtrack music.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is to use a new TV series to find the lead for a revival of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

Rice and Lloyd Webber: The row resurrected

Their last major music collaboration was in 1976 – and now the two are at daggers drawn over a new reality TV show

Dan Stevens and Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey

Schama, Fellowes, and the 'cultural necrophilia' row that would make Lady Grantham grimace

As Downton Abbey takes US TV by storm, its creator is under attack from America's favourite British historian

Michelle Obama being interviewed on CBS

'I'm not some kind of angry black woman' says Michelle Obama

America's First Lady uses TV interview to hit out at rumours that she's losing Barack friends and alienating Washington's powerful people

The outgoing Mississippi Governor, Harley Barbour, has not explained the 200 pardons

Pardon? Governor sparks outcry by letting off 200 criminals

Rapists and murderers benefit as former Mississippi hardliner has extraordinary conversion

He says: 'Cooking is my passion. I love it and I can never see not being in the kitchens.'

Michael Caines: One-armed banquet

Michael Caines has overcome disability to become Britain's top chef – and still found time to trace the parents who gave him up for adoption

Michael Caines' Gidleigh Park in Devon has been named the best all-round restaurant in Britain by a top guide

Britain's best chef? His name is Michael Caines...

Praise for West Country chef as his restaurant wins industry award for second year in a row

Just like a scene from the movies . . .

Blockbuster movies part-filmed in the UK are expected to boost "location vacation" tourism in 2012. Castle Combe, in Wiltshire, prominent in Steven Spielberg's War Horse, and Layer Marney Tower near Colchester, used in The Woman in Black, are two locations hoping for a boom in visitors.

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A-list actresses such as Deepika Padukone get paid a tenth of what their male counterparts make per film
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game