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Whizz-kids who just want to be normal

Brian Viner: This throne is the greatest leveller

On Monday it will be 250 years since King George II died on the toilet. It is not what he would have wished to be remembered for a quarter of a millennium after his death, for he also spoke six languages, and was the last British monarch to lead his troops into battle. That was during the War of the Austrian Succession, at Dettingen in Bavaria in 1743, an eventful year for the king. A few months earlier he had been present at the inaugural London performance of Handel's Messiah.

Life in the pit lane, where championships are decided in a flash

After Ferrari beat McLaren's tyre change by 0.8 seconds to win the Italian Grand Prix, David Tremayne joins F1's unsung heroes

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Peacock Theatre, London

In a comedy drag ballet show, it's no surprise that the corps de ballet bump into each other. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, commonly known as the Trocks, take those basic jokes to dizzying heights. The corps dancers try so hard not to hit each other, wincing in horror as they see it coming. When disaster finally strikes, they have a glorious range of reactions, from anxious apology to passive-aggressive flouncing to the full-on diva strop.

Bent Larsen: Chess player who with Bobby Fischer was one of only two players the Soviets feared in the 1960s and '70s

In the mid-1960s, at a time of extreme Soviet chess domination, the "Great Dane" Bent Larsen was, along with Bobby Fischer, one of the only two western players whom the Soviets truly respected and sometimes feared.

Strauss shines to secure thrilling victory for England &ndash; and cricket

Pakistan 294-8 England 295-6

Ken Bates: Lunch with the Leeds chairman, and it really is a blast...

The Brian Viner Interview: Age has not mellowed him. From Ferguson to Abramovich, he directs his notorious ire at the football elite past and present, and a former prime minister

Brian Viner: Ken Bates' dilemma at the Last Supper

On Tuesday I was in Monte Carlo, interviewing Ken Bates, the 78-year-old chairman of Leeds United and erstwhile owner of Chelsea, over a long lunch. This isn't a boast about the glamorous side of my job, partly because I can count on the fingers of one finger the times I have been to Monte Carlo in the course of duty, and also because a long lunch with Bates, a famously pugnacious and profane individual even in the pugnacious, profane world of sport, wouldn't be everyone's idea of a good time. His fragrant wife Susannah, who was at his side, acts as a kind of restraining leash on him, but that doesn't stop him baring his fangs. At one point, when I asked what he considered to be an impertinent question, he threatened to throw my tape recorder into the nearby Mediterranean.

First millionaire Avon lady revealed

A woman swapped unemployment and a council house for a million-pound lifestyle by becoming an Avon lady.

On The Road: Summer on the C&#244;te d'Azur needn't blow your budget

The French Riviera is synonymous with summer sunshine, humming Ferraris and sexy, glamorous all-night parties on the beach.

Risotto with Nettles, By Anna Del Conte

Described by Nigella Lawson as "the best writer on Italian food there is", Del Conte had qualms about writing an autobiography: "Who on earth would be interested?" She was reassured by her agent that, "Frankly, I have never heard of another cookery writer who was machine-gunned and sent to prison twice." An even better reason for this memoir is that Del Conte is a great stylist.

Frock around the clock: No item is more timely than the 1950s dress

To describe the look of a particular decade as a seasonal trend now feels almost irrelevant. These days, thanks to vintage-loving celebrities, it is, perversely, more fashionable to occasionally ignore contemporary catwalk creations and their high-street spawn and plump instead for something from a previous decade – or at least to combine the two.

Ashdown's clanger piles pain on stricken Pompey

Coventry City 2 Portsmouth 0: Goalkeeper signed on special dispensation lets opening goal slip through legs

Mini announce return to rallying

Mini has confirmed a comeback in the world of rallying from next year.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones