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


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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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own