Property

When the British fashion design duo Antoni & Alison bought a derelict 1820s house, they spent a year, they say, "Going, 'Agh! What do we do with it?'" They wanted to respect its history but not to the point that it resembled an English Heritage property. The result is a surprisingly beautiful blend of giant Mr Blobby ornaments and painstakingly salvaged authenticity (above). On 17 September, as part of London Fashion Week, they open it to the public (open houselondon. org.uk). I asked Antoni what he'd learnt during the restoration...

BBC licence fee 'to be used for fast internet broadband'

Plans to install "super-fast" internet broadband in every British home will be partly funded by the BBC licence fee, according to a senior Liberal Democrat.

'Cultural shift' is needed to fund the arts, says Hunt

Wealthy donors are needed to help plug gaps in arts funding, Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, has said as he announced budget reductions as part of public spending cuts.

Ivy 'protects buildings' by regulating temperature

"False friendship, like the ivy," the explorer Sir Richard Burton once said, "decays and ruins the walls it embraces."

Inside Lines: A good guy becomes sport minister but Cameron misses trick

David Cameron now resides in his shared accommodation in Downing Street on an Obama-like ticket of "change". But we have to ask if sport has been somewhat short-changed? The new PM has missed a trick by again lumping sport together with media and culture under the roof of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Here was a perfect opportunity to give sport, which he has acknowledged as being important to society, health and the economy, and currently with the added governance of the Olympics, its own full-time ministry. We welcome the appointment of Hugh Robertson as the new sports and Olympic minister – he's one of the good guys in politics and has a grasp of what the job is about after five years robustly shadowing two Labour sports ministers. But he has to report to the DCMS overlord, Jeremy Hunt, a nice enough chap whose only known affinity with athleticism is a spot of lambada dancing. Cameron should have been bold enough to change the system and give sport what it deserves – a ministry of its own. Chelsea fan Robertson, 47, was at yesterday's FA Cup final alongside his new boss, who elected to cheer for Portsmouth. A club cricketer and hockey player, Robertson was also planning to stay up for the Amir Khan fight and will watch today's T20 final between England and Australia. He will need such stamina with tough calls to make on funding and Olympic legacy.

Historic cathedrals at risk after English Heritage funding is cut during recession

Cathedrals are in danger of falling into serious disrepair because of the recession, senior figures within the Church have warned.

Olympics budget not protected

Money for the Olympics is not protected, the new Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (COMS) Secretary has warned.

Peter Cheeseman: Pioneer of theatre-in-the-round whose reality-based approach to drama influenced his protégé Mike Leigh

"Make it stick," the Arts Council's drama director Jo Hodgkinson told Peter Cheeseman when he decided to back a fledgling theatre company in a seedy converted club in Stoke-on-Trent almost 50 years ago. Making it stick was Cheeseman's forte: he saw out years when his unheated theatre was so cold that even if an audience came you couldn't hear them clap because they were wearing gloves; and saw off an extraordinary attempt by his own patron, Stephen Joseph, to replace him.

Forget flying. This is truly the year of the staycation

The plan was to go to Krakow. But then Iceland's volcanic ash cloud put paid to that. Would the green hills around Hastings make for a poor second choice? Not at all

Compagnie XY, Roundhouse, London

A minimalist approach, but happy landings all the same

Inside Lines: Game on as sport braces itself for post-election shake-up

Whoever wins the election, sport can expect some fundamental changes in the way it is governed. The two main parties have plans to "shake up" the system, notably in football where the possible appointment of a regulator to oversee the game is likely to be included in both Labour and Conservative manifestoes. Any appointee – Tory peer Lord Mahwinney, until last week the Football League's chairman, is said to be favourite – could be given the US-style title of Football Commissioner. Government-backed organisations such as UK Sport, Sport England and the Youth Sports Trust can also expect some serious revision, as can their overlords, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, particularly if the Tories gain power. A strong Labour influence in these bodies has been of some concern to the shadow sports minister, Hugh Robertson, who also pledges to restore Lottery funding for sport to its original level of 20 per cent. This has fallen from £460 million to £217m. The election will pose fresh questions about the role of the sports ministry. Labour undoubtedly would retain Tessa Jowell as Olympics minister but some feel that Gerry Sutcliffe will have to raise not so much his game but his profile to keep her company as sports minister. Any Lib-Lab pact in a coalition government might see Liberal spokesman Don Foster given the job. Should Labour win, Jowell is likely to be offered a strictly non-political role by Seb Coe as a 2012 ambassador. The increasingly impressive Robertson, who has twice turned down offers from David Cameron of promotion to a front-bench shadow ministry, hopes to combine the jobs of Olympics and sports minister. Politically overseeing the delivery of the 2012 Games should make this a Cabinet position.

Hold on tight: Britain's amusement parks are closing fast...

... but their historic white-knuckle rides are being rescued. And just in the nick of time

Blue plaque honour for wartime spy Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-Thomas

The life of a spy whose achievements are the stuff of fiction is to be celebrated today.

Robert Verkaik: These royal revelations are merely the tip of the iceberg

There are examples of huge overspends on refurbishments of the occupied palace

Arts cutbacks would dent chances of 'social recovery'

The heads of Britain's most prominent museums, galleries and theatres yesterday launched a "cultural manifesto" urging the Government to uphold public arts spending.

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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
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Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

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Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape