Arts and Entertainment Once more unto the beach: E4's opening episode of 'Geeks' travelled to Marbella

An E4 show called Beauty and the Geek, used to be a guilty pleasure of mine. Guilty because while I enjoyed the spectacle of paired-up strangers bringing out the best in one another other, I didn't enjoy the reductive labelling or the sexist gender division whereby the "geek" was always a man and the "beauty" was always a woman.

Bridge: Neat solution to British weather

IF YOU are disenchanted with the British weather, one of the best ways of escaping is to visit the Marbella Bridge Congress. Then, while you are playing, it does not matter whether it is raining outside or not. The following is a deal from the team event last year.

Property: Tricky moves leave the taxman behind

MORE THAN 70,000 people who will move home in the coming year because of their jobs have been quietly rescued from huge tax bills. An obscure change in the last Budget decreed that anyone receiving more than pounds 8,000 in allowances from employers for relocating would be taxed as for any other perk. But people moving jobs see hotel bills and schemes for selling their homes as essential expenses rather than perks. The Confederation of British Industry agreed, saying this was merely an underhand way of raising pounds 250m a year for the Treasury - a dangerous one at that since it discouraged companies from moving staff.

'Prince of Marbella' walks free: A Syrian multi-millionaire accused of financing the hijacking of the 'Achille Lauro' has been released from jail in Spain on record bail, writes Phil Davison, in Madrid

STAFF at his rambling Mediterranean palace, described by past guests as something out of A Thousand and One Nights, prepared a special welcome of Arab delicacies and much champagne. After a somewhat uncomfortable absence, 'The Prince of Marbella' was coming home.

All the fruit's ripe, man; just shake the tree: Jamaica has many expressions for just how good island life can be. Sue Gaisford learnt a few while passing through the districts of Look Behind and Wait a Bit

THE ANCIENT Vauxhall lurched off the road on to the verge. 'Better get out, man,' said Patrick, the taxi-driver. The night was like draught Guinness - smooth, dark and heady. A sliver of moon hung close and very bright.

Travel: How to get the best out of Malaga: Adios to the stuffed donkeys: With the 'highway of death' bypassed, Malaga's older charm is being exposed. David Hewson goes exploring

THESE days Malaga boasts a spanking new white marble airport, all people-movers and duty-frees as befits one of the Mediterranean's busiest destinations. Thirty years ago there was just a little airstrip and the terminal was a handsome villa.

Travel: Last orders for Rover's Return: The Costa del Sol's 'sangria and breezeblock' nightmare is receding; its new look will attract a different class of visitor, says David Hewson

SUNDAY lunchtime in the Carihuela, the original fishermen's quarter of the town, and the Spanish matrons are out wearing their traditional J Edgar Hoover look: flouncy black dresses, dark stockings with a thick seam up the back, big shiny handbags that could pack a sub-machine-gun . . .

Mother of 'home alone' girl flies into arms of police

TRACKED down on the Costa del Sol by Fleet Street's finest, then hijacked by an enterprising duo from the Sun, the 'Home Alone' mother flew back to Britain and into the arms of the police.

'Home alone' mother phones

An actress thought to have left her 11-year-old daughter alone in their London flat while she went on holiday to Spain, telephoned home yesterday.

Golf: Holiday escape for Hall

JEFF HALL, a 35-year-old from Bristol, expected to spend the weekend on holiday with his wife and three children in Marbella. Instead, he found himself out on his own at the head of the field after yesterday's first round of the Madeira Open in Funchal, the opening event of this year's European Tour.

BOOK REVIEW / Whistles while you work and other wizard prangs: 'A Mouthful of Air' - Anthony Burgess: Hutchinson, 16.99

As was observed by someone of cruder idiom than I, you've got to hand it to the old boy. In the middle of his torrential seventh decade, among the interviews, the reviews, the lectures, the writing of novels and, one wouldn't wonder, the composition of symphonies, Anthony Burgess has miraculously found time to write, in words of learned length and thund'ring sound, this long and complicated book about language.

Mellor Resignation: Women express sorrow for talent gone to waste

THE THREE principal female players in the David Mellor drama expressed regret at his resignation last night.

Tory backbench group may call for Mellor to go: National Heritage Secretary fights back as details of second free holiday are disclosed

DAVID MELLOR tried to rescue his career last night with live television interviews as senior Tory MPs prepared to demand his resignation.

Gould calls for payment of pounds 10,000 under gifts rule

A MINIMUM of pounds 10,000 should be paid by David Mellor to the Exchequer to conform to ministerial rules on the acceptance of gifts, Bryan Gould, his Opposition shadow, said last night.

Mellor tried to interfere in choice of orchestra: Secretary of State for National Heritage faces further controversy

DAVID MELLOR used his position as a government minister in an attempt to intervene in the selection of an orchestra for the residency at the Royal Festival Hall at the South Bank in London.

Bauwens pledges retrial after libel jury deadlock

MONA BAUWENS, a friend of David Mellor, the Secretary of State for National Heritage, promised to opt for a retrial after her libel case against the People newspaper ended yesterday in a six-six stalemate among the jurors.
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