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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

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US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
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'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

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Neil Lawson Baker interview

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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

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Get well soon, Joan Rivers

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