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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.

Arts: Why Russia loves Pushkin

The politics and bureaucratic chaos surrounding the celebration of his 200th birthday on Sunday would not surprise Alexander Pushkin. No other poet's life and work has ever been so bound to his country and language. By Ben Hooson

Football: Napoli trapped in the twilight zone

AROUND THE WORLD

Books: The priest, the cook and the bucket

Chocolat by Joanne Harris Doubleday pounds 12.99

The Monday Book: The sweet smell of success

CHOCOLATE WARS: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLDS OF MARS & HERSHEY, BY JOEL GLENN BRENNER, HARPERCOLLINS BUSINESS, pounds 19.99

I feel a little humbled, and oddly relieved

COMMON HUMANITY? Gertcha. We'll have none of that in my column. What you have here, in the rather wonderful shape of my good self, is a terribly, terribly precious life dedicated to the cultivation of all things lovely, shielding oneself from the baser aspects of life - man- made fibres, cheap jam, Oxford Street, package holidays, tired old Judaeo- Christian ethics - and then one doles out the priceless distillate, drop by drop, to the parched groundlings hungering for beauty and insight in their plodding, workaday lives.

Mars' sweet victory

MARS UK LTD, the confectionery giant, was yesterday acquitted of breaching the Food Safety Act 1990 for selling a chocolate Topic bar containing the head and shoulders of a mouse.

Food: Fortune cookie

Word of mouth: Caroline Stacey meets Mr Pastry - Gerhard Jenne

Food: Return to the ice age

Extravagant Sixties ice-cream puddings that are still guaranteed to go down a bombe. Photograph by Patrice de Villiers

Rugby: Absolute victory spells absolute chaos

IT HAS been a long, hard and dirty war. There was a time towards the end of last season when victory looked a possibility but it was not to be, and those of us who have given the cause our best shot must accept defeat with as much grace as possible given that English rugby has finally blown the best chance it has ever had to expand and develop the game beyond the clubhouse walls.

Media: Beware all slacker ads: you may have been Tango'd

The vogue for idle thoughts has not always been accompanied by hard thinking.

Shopping: Save Our British Sweetshops

Purveyor of humbugs and bullseyes to the great British sweet tooth, the high-street confectioner is back in business

Tried & Tested: Good Enough To Eat

If a children's birthday party without a cake is unthinkable, why not try the supermarket? Our panel sorts the sweet from the sickly

Indoor: Flowers good enough to eat

The stuff of ... cakes. Sally Staples discovers the delicate art of sugar craft

Boom-time bums

Postcard from New York

Blue Chip: US puts fizz in Cadbury

THE TIME has come to reassess Cadbury Schweppes. For a long time the confectioner to fizzy drinks outfit has enjoyed most of the attributes needed to qualify as a core holding in any balanced blue-chip portfolio.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star