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Brian Sollit was a real-life Willy Wonka, one of Britain's most eminent chocolatiers. In a career spanning over 50 years at Rowntree's in York, he created some of the nation's best loved snacks including Lion Bars, Drifters, Matchmakers and the Yorkie, but his crowning glory was the creation of the After Eight Mint. Launched in 1962, it was an instant success, becoming the must-have confectionery for "posh" after-dinner treats. It went on to sell in over 50 countries and had famous devotees such as the Queen Mother.

Market Report: Kingfisher dives on worries over China losses

A "sell" note from Investec ensured that there was no festive cheer for Kingfisher this Christmas Eve. The FTSE 100-listed retail group retreated to 130.2p, down 2.54 per cent or 3.4p, after the broker reduced its pre-tax profit estimate for 2010 to £330m to reflect lower profits at the company's b&q chain and increased losses in China. "There remains little or no visibility on the shape or method of recovering Chinese profitability," the broker said, advising investors to move out of the stock.

Minor British Institutions: Rock cakes

Like one or two other of our small but much loved institutions, the rock cake seems to have crumbled away a little lately, almost unnoticed. It does seems a long time since they were a common sight, now supplanted perhaps by those US-style muffins that landed in the mid-Eighties.

My secret life: Margot Stilley, actress, 25

The home I grew up in... was built in the Twenties by my great-grandfather. It had an amazing hanging garden made up of Spanish moss. My family was really into plywood, timber and bricks, and inside all the features had intricate detail. I still miss the smell of the place.

Please adjust your watch to Calabrian time

You've visited the heel of Italy's boot? Now, take a tour of its toe, says Cahal Milmo

Food agency calls for ban on six artificial colours

Food regulators moved to ban artificial additives from hundreds of products yesterday, three decades after parents began complaining that their children suffered mood swings after consuming brightly coloured sweets, cakes and drinks.

Cadbury Schweppes expected to delay US soft drinks spin-off

Dr Pepper launched an advertising campaign in 2004 with the slogan "What's the worst that could happen?" showing those that tried the soft drink for the first time suffering a series of hilarious calamities.

Hotting up: Skye Gyngell's zingy ginger recipes

From seafood to syllabub, there are not many dishes that won't benefit from a sprightly injection of flavour from fresh ginger, says Skye Gyngell

Leading article: Pecking order

The campaign against the terrible conditions that prevail in the factory-farmed chicken industry has generated an overwhelming response. But not all of it has been favourable to the high-profile figures leading the campaign. Jamie Oliver has attracted charges of hypocrisy for his criticism of Sainsbury's, despite the fact that the television chef accepts a lucrative stipend to appear in adverts for the grocery giant. Some feel that Oliver would cut a more impressive figure if he pledged to accept no more money from the chain until it overhauls its poultry-rearing standards.

Yorkshire 355 Middlesex 332-5: Joyce celebrates call-up with unbeaten 154 to stump Yorkshire

Ed Joyce was able to celebrate his call-up to the England one-day squad yesterday with a big hundred in the four-day match here. It was the third time he has passed 150 in his burgeoning career - one of his previous ones was scored here last year - and his third in all at the Walker Ground.

Brian Viner: Country Life

The company that ate itself: How a lack of dough turned into a crisis for Krispy Kreme

At the Krispy Kreme shop in Washington's Dupont Circle yesterday morning a steady stream of customers were making their way inside to get their hands on the freshly cooked doughnuts. "I come here every morning for two of them," admitted a guilty-sounding Maneda Harrington, a 28-year-old accountant. "They're delicious."

Victoria Wood and co. take 'Acorn Antiques' to West End as musical

They ate their first macaroons together nearly 20 years ago and now they are reuniting to do so again. But this time the cast of "Acorn Antiques" will be all-singing and dancing as Victoria Wood has turned her spoof soap sketches into a musical.

John Anderson

Specialist restorer of vintage Bentleys and manufacturer of the million-selling Sugar Mouse

Eton mess

Serves 4-6
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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