Life and Style

At the risk of straying into territory staked out by my more lurid male counterparts, I once saw a strip bar in Nashville with a neon sign outside advertising '99 Beautiful Girls! And One Ugly One'. They can get away with that kind of playful hucksterism down in the American South. Here, outraged punters would be demanding refunds and invoking the Trade Descriptions Act.

Mark Lancaster in footage that a reporter from The Independent filmed

Conman Mark Lancaster faces jail term over ‘sex for tuition fees’ scam

IT consultant exposed by The Independent admits human trafficking and voyeurism

British teenager dies after plunging 10 floors from a hotel balcony in Bulgaria

Liam Davies, 19, was on a package holiday with friends

Little Chef was put up for sale by owner Rcapital in April

Dragon James Caan 'checking out Little Chef takeover'

Dragon's Den judge James Caan is reportedly considering a bid for the Little Chef chain of roadside restaurants in a move that could safeguard the future of the brand.

Winging it: Peter Wedd as Lohengrin is propelled across the water by Thomas Rowlands as Gottfried

Classical review: Lohengrin - Love means never having to say who you really are

Love is seldom simple in Wagner's operas. There is always a curse or a price, some impossible condition to be met, some sacrifice to be made. In Lohengrin ("the favourite opera of all sensitive ladies", according to one 19th-century critic), sensitive Elsa stands falsely accused of the murder of her brother, Gottfried. The dreamboat hero who arrives to defend Elsa's honour is quick to say those three little words that she longs to hear, and quick to march her to the altar to the lily-scented strains of Wagner's wedding anthem, with the proviso that she should never ask his name. Alas, Elsa has three little words of her own to say, burning like chili pepper on her sensitive tongue: who are you?

Breast cancer survivor nears end of 250-mile journey from Blackpool to London – on a mobility scooter

Tracey Vinyard battled thieves, convinced police to escort her and fought an irate lorry driver on her two week trip

The Conversation: Tim Lang, professor of food policy

What did you have for breakfast?

Jamie Carragher will end his playing career later this month

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard eyes win for Jamie Carragher in final Merseyside derby

Veteran centre-back will end his playing career later this month

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers only wants a minute’s silence for Hillsborough

Brendan Rodgers must be judged on Liverpool trophies says Ian Rush

The manager has endured a mixed start since joining the club last summer

Ardal O'Hanlon in The Weir by Conor McPherson, directed by Josie Rourke for the Donmar Warehouse

Theatre review: The Weir, Donmar Warehouse, London

Conor McPherson's The Weir established itself as an instant classic when it opened at the Royal Court in 1997.

New champions: Victoria Pendleton

Team GB's retiring heroes from London 2012

Sir Chris Hoy has become the latest athlete to call time on his career

New Zealand's Jesse Ryder is out of an induced coma and talking, according to his manager Aaron Klee.

New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder released from hospital following attack

Cricketer was in a coma following incident outside a bar

Kitchen confidential: Stephen Terry

'My secret to the ultimate bacon sarnie: marmalade'

Top of the drops! Keep Britain Tidy lists the most-dumped brands

Litter louts are most likely to dump Coca-Cola cans, Cadbury wrappers and Walkers crisp packets, a survey has revealed.

The Arsenal players thank their away support after just coming up short

Gary Neville plays down Champions League blank for Premier League sides

England coach not convinced much should be read into absence of English teams from the quarter-finals

Gary Neville: Former United team-mate was impressed the first time he saw Ronaldo play

England will not settle for draw against Montenegro insists Gary Neville

Sides meet in World Cup qualifier later this month

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'