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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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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
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One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
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Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
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Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
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Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
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Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker