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Patsy Palmer hopes her 'EastEnders' alter ego Bianca Butcher is "softer" when she is released from prison.

When the bubble bursts for soap stars

Why do EastEnders and Coronation Street actresses struggle to replicate their success on mainstream TV? By Gerard Gilbert

Ramsey's wife is crowned 'Mum of the Year'

The wife of television chef Gordon Ramsay was crowned celebrity mum of the year today and said "patience" was the most important virtue for a parent.

Last Night's Television: The funny guys go red in the face

Comic Relief Does The Apprentice, BBC1<br/>Red Riding, Channel 4

Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery, BBC4<br/>Pedigree Dogs Exposed, BBC1<br/>Who Do You Think You Are? BBC1

The history of surgery is gory viewing &ndash; not to mention what they do to dogs

Let's hear it one more time for Biancaaaaah and Rickaaaay

It is the most eagerly awaited reunion since Pink Floyd took to the stage at Live8: Ricky and Bianca are coming back to Albert Square. But the EastEnders couple, played by Sid Owen and Patsy Palmer, say the decision to return to our screens was not easy. Some aspects of soap stardom can prove a lasting headache. "For me, it's like a swear word, the shouting of 'Rickaaaay!'," said Palmer last week. "Not a day has gone by in nine years when someone hasn't shouted that from cars and even up at my bedroom window at night. Even my daughter said it... making fun of me." According to Palmer, the scriptwriters haven't been kind, so when the pair appear again, cover your ears. "Biancaaaaah!"

The Friary Newsletter: More words than trains from the Transport Secretary

Patient 73429 will be strapped to a chair and his eyes held open until several simple phrases are imprinted on his mind

WHAT'S ON AROUND THE UK: PC presents and a chocolate fest

It's the season of goodwill to all men - and animals (the turkey aside). The Christmas Without Cruelty Fayre at Kensington Town Hall in London today includes a celebrity auction and the chance to win a walk- on role in The Bill. A number of items will be donated by Van Morrison, Martin Amis, Peter Gabriel and Gary Lineker. Proceeds from the auction go to Animal Aid. It kicks off at 10am and you can splurge without guilt as you stock up on cruelty-free, ethically produced and politically correct Christmas presents. Admission: pounds 1.

Someone's Got To Do It: Keith Betton Is Head Of Corporate Affairs At Abta

How long have you been doing your job?

THE FRIARY NEWSLETTER: Our small part in making Michael come clean

I bet there's a lot of folks out there desperate to face up to youthful indiscretions in a healthy, positive, opinion-poll-friendly way

Film: Young persons guide to pitching

The ins and outs of a trip to the US with the First Film Foundation. By Hannah Lewis and Morag McKinnon

WHY ARE THEY FAMOUS?: Darren Day

Main Claim

Real living: We're just good friends. Honest

Boy meets girl. They click immediately. But they never have sex. It can happen, says Mike Gayle

Croydon cuts short film festival

A wealth of highly acclaimed UK and international films are being screened this weekend as part of the Croydon Cuts Short Film Festival. The two-day programme features more than 80 films, which are thematically arranged into eight groups which the organisers dub "Encounters", and in addition, there are masterclasses given by directors and producers. Martin Clunes, Sean Hughes, Patsy Palmer and Paul Nicholls all appear in the "urban" category, while Kathy Burke contributes her writing talent for another. Ewan McGregor appears in a "Bizarre Encounter" of weird and wonderful dimensions, and a "Sexual" film features Press Gang's Dexter Fletcher. Local film-makers such as Adam Whitehall and Keith Claxton also make their mark in the programme "Night and Day" section, which opens the Festival and provides a balance with the climactic finale; a multimedia cabaret and celebratory best of the fest vote.

They may be short, but they're perfectly formed

Some of our most imaginative film-makers are working within the confines of the short film format, as two new television slots show. By Meg Carter
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Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
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Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
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Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

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'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century