Arts and Entertainment Piers Morgan thinks he's a better interviewer than his rivals

The former Britain's Got Talent judge isn't known for his modesty

I still miss George Best, says Michael Parkinson

Chat show legend Sir Michael Parkinson has spoken fondly of his friendship with George Best and told how he still misses the Northern Ireland footballing legend.

Michael Parkinson's pub may have his greatest chat-show hits all over its walls, but the real star is out in the kitchen

The Royal Oak, Paley Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, tel: 01628 620 541

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Farrago, By Jim Godbolt

The editor of Ronnie Scott's in-house magazine recalls a vanished era of bad puns and trad dads

10 most irritating television characters

Run for the hills – Mr Blobby is making a comeback. But is he really the worst of a very bad bunch?

Inner-city regeneration plans 'being put on ice'

Plans to breathe life into Britain's inner-city areas through regeneration projects are under threat because of the credit crunch, the Government will be warned today.

The Diary: Poster pilfering

The marketing department at the Barbican has, it appears, become the victim of its own success. Its latest poster campaign on the London Underground has been such a hit with passing commuters that the striking black-and-white portraits of this season's performers have been going missing at a rapid rate.

Leading article: That's entertainment

To rattle off the showbiz names associated with the long career of Sir Bill Cotton is to recite a short history of television entertainment. The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise, Michael Parkinson, Bruce Forsyth: the television producer, who died this week, had a big hand in all of their careers.

The Week In Radio: Value the living, not the dead

In A Tale of Two Skulls (Radio 3, Sunday), an artist named Jane Wildgoose read out a quotation: "Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness, the tender mercies of its people, their loyalty to high ideals, and their regard for the laws of the land." Which suited her purposes nicely – the point of the programme was to find out where a pair of skulls she owns came from, and what she ought to do with them – but doesn't necessarily tell you anything useful. Some nations honour their dead in ways that strike other nations as blasphemous, or callous, or silly: leaving them out for vultures, burning them, eating them, wrapping them in bandages, drying them in catacombs, pickling them for medical students to practise on, burying them in wooden boxes – it isn't obvious that the dead themselves would prefer any one of these to the others, or that we should either.

Janet Street-Porter: If this is 'care', then I hope I'll never need it

I've said it before, and I'll say it again – if I show signs of dementia, don't bother putting me in a care home, just hand me a plastic bag and I'll dispose of myself without further ado.

Sport on TV: War and Peace: usual rules in the Broad Acres

There cannot have been many greater characters in British sport than Brian Clough. So much so that a mythology has engulfed his memory. There have now been at least seven biographies of the self-proclaimed "Ol' Big 'Ead", the latest, 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me' by Duncan Hamilton, winning the 2007 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.

Richard Drewett: Producer who launched 'Parkinson'

Richard Drewett made his mark as the original producer of Michael Parkinson's Saturday-night BBC chat-show, starting in 1971, before switching to the ITV company LWT and providing the commercial channel's first real challenge at weekends to the corporation's dominance in the ratings.

Barnsley 0 Cardiff City 1: Hometown hero Ledley books Cardiff a return to Wembley

It was an old-fashioned FA Cup fairytale for Cardiff City and their matchwinner Joe Ledley yesterday, an improbable story of heroism as timeless as the Cup itself. Yet as Cardiff City improbably won a place in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth next month the mind could only wander back to the game's most remarkable moment.

Jonathan Davies: Hard-nosed Gatland must put frighteners on

It is hardly a suitable Christmas message, but the word that ought to be preached to the ranks of all those who underachieved during 2007 is fear. Particularly where there is a lack of genuine competition for places too many players don't know what it is like to be fearful of their jobs and operate in a comfort zone that is taking the edge off their game.

The Weekend's TV: I lost all faith in this from the very start

Make Me A Muslim, Channel 4; Dawn French's More Boys Who Can Do: Comedy, BBC1; Parkinson: The Final Conversation, ITV1

Sri Lanka 521-5 dec & 5-1 Sussex 262: 'Slinger' Malinga put on Sri Lanka stand-by

The Sri Lankans headed for Edgbaston yesterday reasonably happy with preparations for the second Test against England which starts on Thursday.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz