Barry Miles's Book of a Lifetime: Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs

Without question, the book that has most influenced my life has been Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs. I was astonished by the outrageous pot-head humour: crazy ideas taken way beyond their normal limits. The book was a savage indictment of American racism and consumerism, it dealt with the corruption, graft and lies of politicians with Swiftian humour. I had never read anything like, then or since.

Franck Ribéry, right, and Karim Benzema, left, have been accused of paying for sex with Zahia Dehar when she was 17

French footballers Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery acquitted of having sex with underage prostitute Zahia Dehar

The Parisian court also dropped the case against Ribery's brother-in-law

Transfer news: PSG would 'bring in Lionel Messi' if there was no limit to their spending, says president

The French champions have been linked with the Barcelona forward

England are perming three from eight for their wings and full-back. Chris Ashton favours the right wing

Six Nations 2014: Chris Ashton makes way for Jack Nowell debut for England

The Exeter wing gets his chance in Paris against France

Sam Warburton is the first to sign a Welsh central contract

Sam Warburton’s loyalty to Wales may leave him out in the cold at Cardiff

Sam Warburton finally knows who will be employing him next season and how much he can expect to earn after signing a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union – the kind of contract rejected by two of his fellow Red Dragon titans, the full-back Leigh Halfpenny and the lock Alun Wyn Jones, in favour of alternative deals with Toulon and Ospreys respectively. What Warburton does not know is how many top-level club games he will play if the sport’s alleged “leaders” fail to break the impasse over the future of the Heineken Cup.

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (L) acknowledges the public along with his godson Hudson and British model Cara Delevingne
Trierweiler first met Hollande in 1988

Valerie Trierweiler: Five Facts About The Former French First Lady

By now, you’re probably aware that Valérie Trierweiler was the unmarried ‘companion’ of French President Francois Hollande for eight years, a state of affairs that came to an end following allegations in Closer magazine that her partner had been having an affair with French actress Julie Gayet.

Chris Robshaw and Stuart Lancaster hope to guide England to Six Nations glory

Six Nations 2014: Chris Robshaw hopes growing experience will prove to be deciding factor as England look to improve on second place

Robshaw has led England to the runners-up spot in the past two championships but believes a more experienced core could lead to Six Nations glory

Avenue Foch is home to billionaires including the families of dictators

What the Foch? Plan to redevelop Paris’s richest road into park, shopping mall and council estate

Spectacular proposal brings race to become city's next mayor to life

Spring/Summer 2014 Haute Couture collection by Charlie Le Mindu
A Ryanair Boeing 737 aircraft

Delayed Ryanair passengers loot drinks trolley and steal cigarettes in 'barbaric' revolt

Passengers had been on plane for several hours before the 'mutiny' took place

Valérie Trierweiler left hospital in Paris yesterday, a week after reports emerged that her partner, President François Hollande, was having an affair with the actress Julie Gayet

François Hollande says First Lady Valérie Trierweiler is 'getting better' - but stays quiet about their future

She is now resting at La Lanterne, the French equivalent of Chequers

All for one and one for all: Porthos, d'Artagnan, Athos and Aramis in the new BBC production

The Musketeers, BBC1, TV review

Peter Capaldi as the villain is patently over-qualified

Valérie Trierweiler left hospital in Paris yesterday, a week after reports emerged that her partner, President François Hollande, was having an affair with the actress Julie Gayet

Francois Hollande told Valerie Trierweiler during hospital visit: 'I need more time'

French press reports President likely to choose actress Julie Gayet and ask First Lady to leave Elysee Palace

Chris Robshaw

Six Nations: Chris Robshaw will remain England captain, confirms Stuart Lancaster

It will be the third successive Six Nations the Harlequins flanker has been at the helm for

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick