Arts and Entertainment David Beckham will have a cameo role in the Only Fools and Horses reunion sketch on Sport Relief in March

The footballer will join Del Boy and Rodney for their first reunion in a decade

Books: Scoring on the metropolitan lines

There's more to laid-back London than Hugh Grant's Notting Hill. Laurence O'Toole joins the urban warriors

Girl takes overdose over piercing

A SCHOOLGIRL was recovering in hospital last night after taking a drug overdose when she was suspended from school for having her tongue pierced. Karma Daniels, 16, of Hazel Grove, Greater Manchester, has been told she can return to school if she removes the tongue stud.

Head recruits sniffer dog to tackle drugs

TWO BOYS of 15 have been suspended from school after their headmaster hired a sniffer dog trained to detect illegal drugs.

The last Franciscans of Peckham call it a day

THEY SURVIVED the Reformation and stood firm in the face of anti- papist riots, but nearly 700 years after their foundation, Britain's Franciscan friars face extinction.

Last pit ponies are made redundant

THE LAST two working pit ponies in Britain are due to retire later this year. Until such time, the Welsh Cobs must carry on their daily underground duties, hauling cast iron and steel drams of coal weighing two tons over an uneven railway in the pitch black.

Property: Ideal for social climbers with a touch of vertigo

Hot Spot Peckham, South London

People and business: One son fails to rise at Carpetright

MARTIN HARRIS, 29-year-old son of Lord Harris of Peckham, has quit as an executive director of his father's company, Carpetright, just 18 months after being appointed, in order to sort out his private life.

Investment: Carpetright provides a ray of hope on the high street

Lord Harris says sales have been on an upward trend since August

Wisdom of our Father whose heart is in Peckham

SPORT ON TV

If you prick them, estate agents bleed

It may be hard to believe, but the people who sell houses really are people. Just like you and me.

Allied Carpets still weighing offers

ALLIED CARPETS said yesterday it was still considering offers for the entire company following the sale of its troubled Carpetland subsidiary to Carpetright for pounds 13.75m. The offers include one from Alchemy, the venture capital group, at less than 60p per share.

Design: Swings and roundabouts

Photographer Liam Bailey has captured the unique, usually ignored world of the playground. But which is best, municipal old or trendy new?

Property: Going Up In The World

A self-help project, already successful in Africa and the US, is enabling Britain's hidden homeless to build themselves houses. Rachelle Thackray joins in

Hot Spot: Nunhead: Back from the dead

A FEW years ago, if an area were said to be near Peckham, it would elicit the question: "How near?" Very near meant too close to a place best known for its high crime rate. But supersonic gentrification has zapped Peckham, and its spillover is helping to transform Nunhead, which had been a nondescript sleepy community mostly unknown and ignored except for its famous cemetery.

Allied Carpets surges 23% on bid report

ALLIED CARPETS was at the centre of takeover speculation last night after the troubled carpet retailer said it had received a number of bid approaches.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape