Money

Smaller companies have been a lucrative, albeit higher-risk, area to invest over the long term. The Numis Smaller Companies Index has, since 1955, achieved an annual return of 15.8 per cent compared with 12 per cent for the broader UK stock market.

Dragons breed in Britain

Bizarre sea dragons from Australia's west coast have been brought to the UK with hopes of becoming the first breeding group in the country.

Round-up: Halifax cup game called off over ineligible player

The challenge Cup was thrown into disarray yesterday when the tie between Halifax and Batley was called off less than four hours before kick-off because Halifax had fielded an ineligible player in the previous round.

Tebbit could be charged over 'dragon kicking'

Tory peer Lord Tebbit could face prosecution over claims that he kicked a person wearing a dragon costume during Chinese New Year celebrations.

Walker drops legal action against Bulls to join Catalan Dragons

The Queensland winger, Chris Walker, rejected by Bradford, has joined the Catalan Dragons on a two-year contract. Walker claimed the Bulls had reneged on a deal with him in order to sign the Manly scrum-half, Matt Orford.

Phantom Limb: exclusive free download

Download a free track by the Britol country-soul sextet.

Album: Phantom Limb, Phantom Limb (Naim)

Two years after forming at the end of 2004, Phantom Limb's progress was derailed when singer Yolanda Quartey fell ill.

Vampires: From freak to chic

In literature vampires are terrifying, shadowy figures who "vant to suck your blood", and whose heads need to be cut off and stuffed with garlic to prevent them returning from the dead. But in cinema vamps appear to be, well vampish.

The ten best vampire holidays

A plethora of fang-bearing films and television shows have hit our screens recently, from The Vampire’s Assistant to the highly acclaimed True Blood, and the latest is New Moon, sequel to the 2008 hit Twilight, released last week.

The Etruscan Roots of The Twilight Saga

Were there vampires in Volterra? Probably not, but the Etruscans had their own brigade of gods and demons representing night, death and resurrection.

Dracula: The Un-Dead, By Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

History is repeating itself in many ways. For one, this is the "official" Dracula sequel, the book's blurb claims in blood-red font, written by a direct descendant of Stoker himself, and a well-known historian. Thematically, too, history is repeating itself, for Quincey Harker, the son of Jonathan and Mina, is prompted to explore his parents' dark secrets after coming across the troubled production of Dracula at the Lyceum, directed by Bram Stoker himself.

Ten places to celebrate Halloween in style

Halloween has its roots in Samhain, an ancient Gaelic festival roughly meaning “summer’s end”. During this time, it was believed that the divide between the living and dead became thin, allowing spirits to pass between the two worlds, hence the need to ward off evil whilst welcoming ancestral spirits home.



Twilight heart-throb Robert Pattinson voted 'favourite vampire'

Twilight heart-throb Robert Pattinson's character Edward Cullen has been hailed film buffs' favourite movie vampire.

Top ten spooky sightings

Roadside phantoms, big cats and spooky toilets flushing are among incidences of the supernatural to be recorded in the UK in the last 25 years.

Pelo kindles Catalan fire to blaze of glory

Huddersfield 6 Catalan Dragons 16
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'