Extras

Here are the answers to this week's quiz...

Spam, spam, spam, spam... er, no more spam

Spam, Spam Spam, Spam, lovely Spam and ... er, no more Spam. The favourite Monty Python meal is under threat. Yesterday the last factory in Britain producing the much-loved and much-laughed at luncheon meat has closed.

Christmas '97: What the cool are reading this winter: guide to a stress-free lifestyle dominates the book-sales league

A health guide on how to keep your cool is the nation's favourite book this Christmas. David Lister looks at what people are buying to read over the holidays.

Channel 4 urged to expand ethnic programming

Comedians Lenny Henry and Michael Palin and Booker-winning novelist Ben Okri have joined a campaign to force Channel 4 to broadcast three hours of ethnic minority programming during peak time each week.

Education: Passed/failed: Michael Palin

Michael Palin, 54, is an actor and writer. Originally one of the full Monty (Python) team, he is currently presenting `Full Circle: With Michael Palin' on Sunday evenings and is also autographing copies of his book of the BBC1 series. Previous travel documentaries include `Pole to Pole'. He wrote the script of the film `American Friends', the West End play `The Weekend' and the novel `Hemingway's Chair'.

Box Clever: Natural born thrillers

The BBC's Natural History Unit is in the mood for celebration. Not only is it 40 years young; it also stands alone in having avoided the Birtist axe. Sir David Attenborough, now 71, is the man most closely associated with the unit's success

Fry's Oscar, Mailer's Jesus, the Lazy River Cafe, and other future best-sellers

The contenders for the Christmas bookseller list are already edging their way into the bookshops, and as a service to readers I am bringing you a first selection of the hottest new candidates on the bookshelves.

Python star takes to the rails

Rail buff and Monty Python star Michael Palin, who recently admitted on television to being a former trainspotter, is to have an engine named after him.

Python with no venom; profile; Michael Palin

Hester Lacey on the seriously nice television traveller who takes 10 million fans on his journeys

TODAY'S TELEVISION

You've got to admit that cosmologist Stephen Hawking is a pretty extraordinary man. I don't mean in the accepted sense of genius - I have no idea whether or not the author of A Brief History of Time should be taken at his own estimation as the spiritual heir to Galileo and Isaac Newton. I mean in the shallower sense that he has got to be by far the most disabled man to have fronted a major TV series.

Lumley and Palin go round the world for Auntie

Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin, whose globetrotting adventures proved to be ratings winners for the BBC, will be off on their televisual travels again this autumn.

Rich and famous find their summer idyll ... in West Cork

Many of the rich and famous prefer to take their holiday later in the year, particularly in winter, when the rest are coping with the British weather.

Married and still speaking, after a fashion

When people have been married or living together for 10 or 20 years, what on earth do they find to say to each other? (asks an anxious reader who is about to get married). Well, anxious reader, I have done a survey over the years of the favourite dialogue used in the average happy marriage in different conversations and here, in no particular order, are a few of the commonest:

'The first stepping-stone to a professional career'

What do Sue Pollard, Lord Attenborough, Peter Bottomley, Compo, Betty Boothroyd, Sean Connery, Alan Bennett, Seamus Heaney, Michael Palin, and, it is rumoured, Maureen Lipman and Alan Rickman have in common? They could, in a small way, help decide the fate of the Co-op, writes Chris Hughes.

'Crash' is passed for uncut release

The highly controversial film, Crash, which depicts characters being sexually aroused by graphic car crashes, was yesterday passed for release uncut by the British Board of Film Classification.

New lease of life for Brian

New lease of life for Brian
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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'