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The gross payouts will be £2.25bn less in 2014 than in 2013

Consuming Passions: Leisure and pleasure in Victorian Britain, by Judith Flanders

Who needs a self-lighting fairy?

Matthew Norman's Media Diary

My deep respect for their lordships

Paying too much for reassurance

Toby Walne asks whether extended guarantees are worth the cost

Dixons sends shiver through retail sector

Dixons sent another shiver through the retail sector today after the electricals specialist said its rate of sales growth had slowed.

Dixons buoyed by surprise sales leap

Dixons provided a boost for sentiment in the UK retail sector yesterday when it surprised the City with a 5 per cent jump in like-for-like sales.

Violent video game sells out after being blamed for murder

A video game blamed by a 14-year-old murder victim's parents for his death has sold out across much of the country following publicity about the brutal murder. The Dixons Group last week withdrew the violent game Manhunt from its Dixons, Currys and PC World stores, while Virgin Megastores also withdrew it in the wake of media coverage about the murder of Stefan Pakeerah, who was killed by his friend, Warren Leblanc, 17 in Leicester in February.

The Investment Column: Risk makes Dixons one to avoid

Amec gets back on track but shares are too pricey; Plenty of growth left in iSoft despite recent surge

Dixons to shut under-performing branches

More than 100 under-performing Dixons stores are to close as part of an overhaul at the high street electrical chain, it was announced today.

On a balance of risk Dixons looks too expensive

Passengers up but easyJet still in turbulence; Best to steer clear of Xenova despite drug options

After half a century at the till, one of Britain's retail titans finally checks out

Sir Stanley Kalms grew Dixons from a photographic studio to biggest UK electrical chain

Yearning for a simpler age

While some people struggle to keep up with the latest new technology, Julie Myerson prefers to stay in touch with the real world and just have a word processor that works.
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Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
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David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
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techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
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A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?