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Police found the woman only had a provisional license and was accompanied only by a parrot

Getting out of my skull in the den of the ju-ju man

LAGOS DAYS

Leading Article: ... and why it's good to talk

Students of politics are used to doctrines: the doctrine of flexible response (nuclear weapons), the doctrine of ministerial responsibility (relations between Civil Service and Cabinet) and, of course, the doctrine of collective responsibility.

End of the sick parrot, enter the cuddly toy

Sport on TV

Martin Kelner went in search of a sad-old-end-of-the-pier-comic story. But when he found it, he discovered Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davies had rewritten the script

Frinton is one of those places, like Tunbridge Wells, whose name conveys far more than a simple geographical location. Harwich for the Continent, Frinton for the incontinent, as the old joke goes. It is just the sort of town you might expect to end up in when you embark on one of showbusiness's more arcane quests - to find out whatever happened to Freddie "Mr Parrot Face" Davies.

Let the parrot lead the Proms

Twenty-five years ago, when I became so-called literary editor of Punch, I received an invitation to a book launch. I had never been invited to a book launch before. I didn't know what it was. But it was pretty clear what it was meant to be. It was meant to be a party for the publication of a new book, to which we were bidden so that we could raise a glass and celebrate the author and his new book.

'There I was, swinging on my perch, and this man just grabbed me'

Apile of feathers on the floor. That was all that was left of Anne Hunt's favourite parrots. The thieves stole a green macaw (pounds 1,500) and a blue and gold macaw (pounds 1,000). "The parrots must have put up a real struggle judging by the mess in the shop," says Ms Hunt, who owns a pet shop in Guildford. "I've still got 40 other macaws, African greys and cockatoos, but I still think of those two," she says. "I knew them, you see - their flaws, their feathers, their characters ... I keep the rest of my parrots in an aviary built like a fortress now. If I go out in the evening, I get a parrot sitter in."

BBC show 'beyond bounds of decency'

Simon Mayo's BBC1 show Confessions exceeded the bounds of taste and decency when it featured an account from one contestant who buried a tortoise alive and another who placed an able-bodied child in a wheelchair to avoid queueing, the Broadcasting Standards Council ruled yesterday.

'There's this man who comes with an inflatable parrot. And all night he's bobbing up and down with his bloody parrot. Me, me, me! is what it's all about' - Sir John Drummond, BBC man at the Proms, retiring

Sir John Drummond works at the BBC, where for 10 years he has been in charge of the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts. Now, however, at 60, he is retiring. For this, his last Proms season, just under way at the Albert Hall, he has pulled out the stops. He has drawn up a programme that includes 14 world premieres, more living composers than in any previous year, and which, he says, "shows off the extraordinary healthiness, despite every problem, of the British orchestral scene". In addition, he has initiated a clampdown on balloons.

Dear Sir Humphrey

Home Office staff are being told to stop using complicated English and write instead like 'tabloid hacks'. A former editor of the 'Daily Mirror' advises

Judge as you would be judged

Acclaimed American director Errol Morris, whose past glories include The Thin Blue Line, has this time rounded on the quirkier side of life in the land of opportunity and come up with a bizarre three-part series on US injustice, Errol Morris's Interrotron Stories (11.15pm C4).

Write me a novel I can actually read

David Nicholson-Lord gives up modern fiction after seeing through the dust-jacket endorsements

LETTER:Seatbelts make a useful Euromyth

From Mr Mark Rison

Dog bites parrot?

Dog bites parrot?

THEATRE / Back to ABC in the Tower of Babel: Pentecost - The Other Place, Stratford; The Green Parakeet - Greenwich Studio; August - Theatr Clwyd; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Strand; Gaucho - Hampstead

IN 1990 David Edgar joined in the revisionist stampede of left-wing playwrights and produced The Shape of the Table, a premature and unconvincing conversation-piece on post-Communist Europe. There is nothing premature about his new, and equally topical, piece, Pentecost, which follows in the shattered aftermath of that false dawn. It is the richest text to arrive on the English stage since Stoppard's Arcadia; and a drama on the politics of language that ranks with Friel's Translations.

Numbers: 28

Today is the 28th of October. Mathematically, 28 is a perfect number, equal to the sum of its divisors: 1 + 2 + 4 + 7 + 14 = 28. The first four perfect numbers are 6, 28, 496 and 8,128, but some ancient religions consider 28 to be the most perfect of all, as it is the number of letters in the Arabic and Phoenician alphabets. It is also: The number of days in three out of four Februaries.
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

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Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
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After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
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Britain braced for Black Friday
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