Ambassador Dimitrov was very, very cross with Ukip’s “unacceptable” and “extremely serious” “propaganda leaflets” suggesting that millions of Bulgarians were about to flood into Britain. He would have been much more cross if it had been at a lunch at which Ukip’s leader was regaling reporters with his full-on cheeky chappie routine worthy of the man he himself described as “that late, great comedian Bob Monkhouse”: stand-up with an electoral twist.

Pre-emptive strike on sex shops and strip clubs

A sleepy Ulster town has said NO to sex shops and strip clubs — even though no one is planning to open any.

The real winner's dinners

Gordon, Jamie and Nigella are so last year – Channel 4's Come Dine With Me is the TV food sensation of 2009. Lena Corner meets the fans who are living by its rules

Does a saucy lads mag shoot really boost your career?

Without a doubt, TV presenter Kirsten O’Brien tells Andy Welch

Why the sex trade flourishes

Men my age, confused about their role, use prostitutes most

Dave Hogan: The snapper the stars still come out for

From Madonna to De Niro, celebrity lensman Dave Hogan has snapped a galaxy of stars, but the fight to get pictures published is a brutal, high-speed battle, he tells Rob Sharp

Brian Davison: Drummer with The Nice

A battering fusillade at the climax of "America", the West Side Story song adapted by The Nice, was a hallmark of the drumming style of Brian Davison. A passionate and gifted player, he saw his role in any group as a fellow musician and creative percussionist. He was inspired by the jazz drummers Jack DeJohnette and Art Blakey, and brought a dynamic approach to rock when he joined the keyboard virtuoso Keith Emerson in The Nice in 1967.

Our favourite five minutes: celebrity interviews

Each day, The Independent's five-minute interview allows celebrities to prove that brevity really is the soul of wit. Here's the cream of the crop from 2007

The Right Rev David Hand

Archbishop of Papua New Guinea who crossed jungles and climbed mountains to follow his calling

the verdict: Stars and gripes

If Eighties retro is your thing, you may well love the Chevrolet Camaro - but most will wish it had never left the freeway

THE FRIARY NEWSLETTER: It isn't easy throwing off the chains of self-abasement

Happy news! Geri has conquered her unfortunate tendency to go out with shallow or insincere media types

Is this the end of the real blonde?

BLONDES MAY have more fun, but not for very much longer. One of the 20th century's most revered icons is expected to be an endangered species by the the end of the next millennium.

An out-of-towner and his seven-floor superclub gatecrash London's scene

BRITAIN'S MOST hyped dance phenomenon, a seven-storey "superclub" in Leicester Square called Home, will belaunched this Thursday. According to copious marketing material the 2,000-capacity club "incorporates cutting edge modern design with 21st- century technological chutzpah while maintaining all the most cherished elements of the traditional club".

The secret of my sucess: Peter Stringfellow

He's the world's best known nightclub owner, and he's also famous for being famous.

Andrea reveals the secrets of lap dancing

She does lots of stag nights, but never the night before nuptials; that's much too risky

Sex and the older generation

THERE WILL be joy among those of a certain generation at the news that this week Herman, of Hermits fame, is to be united in a major radio project with Brian Poole, formerly of the Tremeloes.
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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