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.

Questions for Chris Evans? Start here

I am pleased to say that I have been able to hire, at enormous expense, the services of Chris Evans in writing today's column. Chris Evans is currently unemployed, so we feel that both sides will gain from this arrangement.

TELEVISION : Monarchy? On TV, only the mob rules

THE BUSTLES were stored and the crinolines folded; the horses stabled and the stagecoaches mothballed. We were in Charles Dance-land, a Twenties world of Bentley convertibles and cigarette-holders, and the story was that old favourite, Rebecca (ITV, Sunday & Monday).

TV puts republican Britain to the test

Millions of viewers to join poll on future of the monarchy in the biggest event of its kind. Michael Streeter reports

Sir Clive Sinclair laps up Stringfellow's party

People & Business

Television: Restoration comedy, modern tragedy

We are in a coach, bumping through late-17th-century Lancashire. "Well, what would you do?" the busty occupant slyly asks the viewer, in an aside to camera that is Urquhartian in its complicity. What would we do? We'd bonk him, of course, just like she is going to, for this is Andrew Davies's Moll Flanders (ITV, Sunday and Monday) - or House of Bosoms - and the heroine may be flawed, but we are definitely on her side.

Strip club teases investors with public share offer

It promises to be one of the more risque share issues of recent times, its success almost guaranteed by the irresistible combination of sex and money. Britain is to get its first publicly quoted "lap dancing" club.

Over-45s get a second wind for nightclubbing

Disco revolution: Survey finds more than four in ten adults regularly go to clubs, with older ravers more welcome than ever

"16,000 letters of objections forced planners to accept their ideas were unpopular"

Earlier this year I described my efforts to judge the finals of Gloucestershire's best-kept village competition, the Bledisloe Cup. Well, last weekend I went round with a small official party presenting the prizes, to Highnam, Oddington and Cherington, winners in the large, medium and small divisions.

LAST 5 RECORDS I BOUGHT; Peter Stringfellow

Legendary nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow recently released his autobiography

Thank you, but I won't

Who'd be celibate in 1996? Not the Roman Catholic Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, who has resigned after running away with a divorced woman from his congregation. But while the wind of change blows up the Catholic cassock, Ruth Picardie detects a swing in the other direction

How I learnt to stop worrying and love venery

Sometimes you get a second chance. Sometimes you get a mid-life crisis and make an arse of yourself. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

i'll be your friend, will you be mine?

When did you last make a new friend, and why did you choose that person? Almost certainly not for the reasons you think you did ... Emma Cook on selecting a mate

Let's hear it for the brothel

Legalised prostitution could provide centres of healthy satisfaction.

TELEVISION : Eating humble pie with the upper crust

I WOKE up on Friday worrying about the Gordon-Duff-Penningtons. If they don't find pounds 2m, they may have to abandon their ancestral castle, and then where would we be? For, as Tony Parsons, Esq, explains in Parsons on Class (BBC2), the Gordon-Duff-Penningtons have been living there for almost a thousand years! What concerns me is that, during the same period, my ances- tors were forced to move. All over Europe. Tracing my line back a further 100,000 years, I think of my African forebears, trudging along. What we could have done with was a castle in Cumbria.
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game