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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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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas