News The new series of 'The Voice' got underway last weekend

ITV makes complaint in its submission into the Culture Committee's inquiry into the future of the BBC

Hey Presto! Orkney gets its potatoes back

People & Business

SIGNIFICANT SHORTS : Stricken Russian cruise ship docks safely

A stricken Russian cruise ship docked safely in port yesterday after spending nearly 10 hours drifting in the North Sea with a flooded engine room.

The boy with four teachers and a school to himself

He is Britain's most expensive schoolboy, always comes top of his class, and is never involved in playground fights. But by next week councillors are expected to decide to make him a humble commuter.

Story of the Year winner: The Sheltie

From 2,500 entries in our fourth children's Story of the Year competition, the judges chose Eleanor Lang's story set in Orkney, an elegant reinvention of the traditional fairytale. Illustration by Matilda Harrison

Obituary: George Mackay Brown

Tomorrow is the feast day of St Magnus, the 12th-century martyr, patron saint of Orkney, and subject of the novel, Magnus, that the Orcadian poet and story-teller George Mackay Brown considered his best work. It would have given Brown quiet satisfaction that this was the day on which he would finally be laid to rest. Tomorrow afternoon, after a funeral mass in St Magnus's Cathedral, Kirkwall, he will be buried in a kirkyard he loved from boyhood, looking out across the Atlantic, a mile from the seaport of Stromness where he was born 74 years ago and which he rarely left.

Shetland oil go-ahead secures 1,400 jobs ahead

The Government has given the green light to the development of the pounds 900m Schiehallion oilfield, 100 miles west of Shetland.

Orkney families win damages

Four Orkney families whose children were removed from their homes amid sex-abuse allegations five years ago, yesterday agreed to an out-of-court settlement. They also received a formal apology from Orkney Islands Council, whose social workers mounted dawn raids to take the nine children into care in February 1991.

Everything in its place for Europe's larder

A long-awaited European Commission decision on which countries own which foods and drinks was put off for a further week yesterday.

The lure of a line to another place and a different life

IN HIS literary cartoon in last week's Sunday Review, the brilliant Martin Rowson imagined what would happen if Irvine Welsh's novel Trainspotting met Thomas the Tank Engine. The idea had an unsettling juxtaposition - childish innocence meets youthful decadence, beauty meets the beast. On the one hand, a series of children's stories devised by an Anglican vicar in the late 1940s in which the worst thing that can happen is a spot of bother with some naughty trucks on Gordon's Hill: poop, poop, poop, whistled Henry, peep, peep, peep, replied James. And on the other, junkies and head-cases on the dole in 1990s Edinburgh, where the best thing that can happen is: Just as Sick Boy was about tae scream, he spiked the vein, drew some blood back intae the barrel, and fired the life-giving and life- taking elixir home.

Islanders fight to save school with one pupil

People living on the most remote island in the Orkneys said yesterday they would fight plans to close its school - even though it has only one pupil.

LETTER: Stitch that would waken the dead

From Mr Tim Craig

Letter: Tourist atlas

From Mr Keith Halley

And they call it puppy love

Despite storms and humans, grey seals thrive on Welsh beaches - and pose little danger to fish stocks.

Townies' friend, fishermen's foe

The slaughter of Orkney's seals, a protected species, has opened old wounds. Should they be culled? Trawlermen say aye. By John Arlidge
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
South Africa
Spain
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'