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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