British-trained nannies have a good reputation and can command decent salaries

Job prospects for nannies have never been better. It's no longer just the twinset-and-pearls types living in the country and driving a Range Rover who employ them, says Oliver Black, director of childcare agency Tinies. "More working parents are choosing to have their children cared for in their own homes because of the flexibility it offers."

The Ten Best: Children's shows

Nikki Spencer rounds up the best shows to entertain the kids this summer

THEATRE: THE FIVE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON

1

THEATRE: ... AND IN LONDON

1

Mary Poppins: The nanny of them all

The nanny was bewitching the British long before David Blunkett was in short trousers. And one nanny stands behatted head and straight-backed shoulders above the Leoncia Casalme generation. Seven decades after PL Travers immortalised her in print and 40 years after Disney gave her Julie Andrews' face, Mary Poppins is back

It Was 35 Years Ago Today `Mary Poppins' floats in

On 25 September 1964, the US public got the first sight of an umbrella-borne Julie Andrews as she flew through the air to 17 Cherry Tree Lane to rescue two children from harridan nannies and take them on a series of magical, musical adventures. Disney's Mary Poppins, adapted from a 1934 book by P L Travers, was ecstatically received, even though "passionate devotees" of the book might have found "Walt Disney's musical version - the very idea of it - an act of cultural vandalism". But "even when sentiment borders on the saccharine and Walt Disney's little pieties become more than a little sticky, it's a pleasure" (Newsweek). The New York Times urged viewers to be thankful for "the intrusion of Mr Disney and his myrmidons": "Praise heaven that there are such as they still making films". Variety thought that, though over-long, it was "a top-flight accomplishment".

Bewitching link to Children's Classics

HARRY POTTER is far from the first young hero of a favourite children's book to have enjoyed a more exotic education than the National Curriculum allows. The intrepid sorcerer's apprentice at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - with his two mega-selling novels, thriving adult fan club and seven-figure Warners movie deal - has carried into the 1990s a long tradition in British children's writing of spellbinding yarns.

Sport on TV: A Berne offering that turned the stomach

"THE Swiss keeper," Ron Atkinson opined during ITV's highlights (sic) from Berne, "just doesn't look the part." Wrong. In fact, he looked very much the part - the only problem being that the part in question was that of Jeff Tracey, the plastic patriarch who used to dispatch Scott, Virgil and the rest about their planet-saving business in Thunderbirds.

Football: Task Force get tough over racism

Players and managers face contract clauses, Refs may show red cards, Government can enforce action

The strangest relationship: nannies and working mothers

Conflict of expectations

Jobs for all, Gordon, but not as you know them

Gordon Brown's vision of full employment is all very well but the future of work is about more than reducing the dole queue. Ann Treneman says that perhaps a woman's place is not in the workplace we know.

THEATRE The Censor Royal Court, London

With just a desk separating them, a young woman challenges a man in authority and the effect on him is devastating. It's a classic situation. We could be talking about the seismic encounters between Isabella and Angelo in Measure for Measure, or about the catastrophic collision of professor and PC-crazed student in Oleanna. Anthony Neilson's The Censor - deservedly revived now for a further run at the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs - gives this set-up several unsettling twists. Not least of the puzzles in this powerful, deeply enigmatic work is the precise function of the woman who comes across as both wrecker and redeemer, at once a healing projection of the man's own "anima" and a femme fatale sent to him by some inscrutable fate.

Ban on feeding the pigeons puts tourists in a flap

Trafalgar Square was reminiscent of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds yesterday, as hundreds of speckled pigeons gathered to protest against an attempt by Westminster City Council to have them removed.

Six of the best umbrellas

The rainy season is upon us again and the ultimate investment has to be a good umbrella. The cheap brolly you were forced to buy from the market has spokes poking through everywhere after its debut in a torrential downpour.We end up making do because it hardly ever rains, does it? Get smart, choose from our selection of luxury brollies - and come out of the rain for good
Arts & Entertainment
tvGrace Dent on TV
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Sport
Emmanuel Adebayor, Tim Sherwood and Hugo Rodellega
sportThe latest news and scores
News
Brand said he
people
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
Classical Spain
Classical Spain
Six nights from £569pp Find out more
Pompeii
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples
Seven nights from £799pp Find out more
Spring Breaks
Spring breaks with dinner
Two nights from £64.50pp Find out more
London Theatre and Hotel breaks
London theatre and hotel breaks
One night and ticket from £84pp Find out more
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit