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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Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

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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

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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'

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Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

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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

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Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

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