Extras

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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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Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy