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Early years in Liverpool gave him the perfect voice for John Lennon in the animated ‘Yellow Submarine’ film

Coward in the Caribbean: it's almost Pinteresque

Volcano | Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea

Before the week is out ...: Read this

NOEL COWARD'S social life in Jamaica reads like a special issue of Hello! - he welcomed the likes of the Royal Family, Charlie Chaplin, Peter Sellers and Audrey Hepburn into his island home, Firefly. All the glamour of the celebrity lifestyle is captured in a new book with previously unpublished pictures of Coward with his friends and contributions from those who knew him. Starting in 1948, it covers the least-known years of Coward's life.

Column One: At last, some plain English from Mr Prescott

IT WAS a poor kind of consolation. Returning from India in the small hours of yesterday morning Mr Prescott might have felt his spirits momentarily lifted by the news that he'd won an award.

Christmas books: Looks back at Court and Globe

Theatre

Why my mother may never rest in peace

Novelist Elisa Segrave's mother is now in the latter stages of Alzheimer's disease. But her life has one final tragedy in store...

Film: Also showing - A funny, bloody little movie

Ravenous (18) Antonia Bird; 100 mins The Italian Job (PG) Peter Collinson; 103 mins Stop Making Sense (PG) Jonathan Demme; 88mins A Kind of Hush (15) Brian Stirner; 96 mins Skin Flick (no cert) Bruce LaBruce; 70 mins Varsity Blues (15) Brian Robbins; 105 mins Mouchette (no cert) Robert Bresson; 90 mins

Obituary: Len Lowe

ALTHOUGH LEN Lowe will always be recalled by variety lovers as one half of that once highly popular double act, Len and Bill Lowe, he had a lone solo career either side of that particular high point in hilarity. The talented brothers were in fact but two-thirds of a trio, the other brother going under the double stage names of Chester Ladd and, latterly, Don Smoothey. All three were soloists in laughter and were, at one time or another, partners in doubled-up acts of traditional crosstalk comedy.

Edinbourgh Festival '99: Reviews - Diary

Riggs O'Hara Director of Women of Troy: 2099

Theatre: Darling of Drury Lane

Ivor Novello ruled the West End from the Twenties to the Fifties. It's time to bring him back, says Carl Miller

Why, Grandma, what big heels you've got!

Throw on a cobweb shawl and sip Darjeeling, darlings... Granny style is de rigueur among the hiperati. CAYTE WILLIAMS reports

Book Review: Spoken Word

Noel Coward: an audio biography

The Information on Noel Coward's `Easy Virtue'

What Is It?

Cricket: Adams makes a happy return

Sussex 271 Derbyshire 95-3

There's only so many centenaries a person can take

My tribute play would never be performed in Russia if I didn't get Pushkin in somehow
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own