Celebrity square meals #14

Joan Bakewell's old-fashioned liver and capers

The Ballad of Belmarsh

Dorian: an imitation, by Will Self

Outdoing Wilde in sex, excess and snobbery

The Ghosts of Ruddigore, Bridewell Theatre, London

Gilbert & Sullivan for hardcore fans

COMEDY: CHRISTMAS HIGHLIGHTS

Rainer Hersch 27 & 28 Dec

John Walsh on Monday: Old interviewers are the nation's fifth estate

IT'S BEEN a good week for former journalists. First, `Gorgeous' Gus Macdonald inherits the top transport job as John Prescott moves aside to concentrate on what, in his opaque idiolect, he calls `the coming areas - the urban and rural White Papers, housing and planning'.

Obituary: Sir Rupert Hart-Davis

IF PUBLISHING were simply a matter of producing beautiful books Rupert Hart-Davis, with his technical knowledge equalled only by the infinite pains he took over every completed page, would have been the best publisher of his day - just as he was incontestably the best editor. But for him the book was everything; the business aspect bored him stiff. When he sold the firm of Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd in 1963, he retired to Yorkshire, to write and to edit, and was happier than at any previous time in his life.

Long-lost letter from Wilde proves that it could have been `The Importance of Being Bertram'

A PRIVATE letter written by Oscar Wilde, probably in the summer of 1894, to George Alexander, an old friend and fan of the theatre, exposes the inspiration for the Irish-born playwright and aesthete's last comedic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest - a desperate shortage of cash.

Friday book: The influential role performed by pink plays

Out on Stage: lesbian and gay theatre in the twentieth century

`Stateliest homo in England' dies at 90

QUENTIN CRISP, the flamboyant pioneer of homosexual openness, died yesterday, aged 90, while preparing for one last display.

Clark `a late convert to Catholicism'

ALAN CLARK became a Roman Catholic shortly before his death, just as his father, Lord Clark, the distinguished art historian, had done.

Poet Laureate falls under the spell of an erudite poisoner

FOR THE new face of the literary establishment, it is a peculiar preoccupation. The Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, has revealed his obsession with a little-known poisoner who murdered at least three people in the 19th century.
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee