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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.

THE GOOD SCHMOOZE GUIDE

So you want to hang out with the stars but don't know where to begin? Our man at the best parties, Nicholas Barber, offers some useful advice for would-be celeb-spotters

Metropolitan Life: Where the listenin' is easy

Roulette, music, cocktails and kitsch: Nicholas Barber loses his chocolate eggs at London's newest night-club

The experts' guide to throwing a party

Mini hot dogs, 'Boom Shake the Room' and the Princess of Wales: just three essential party ingredients from the people who know. By Julie Aschkenasy

Sex and transcendence at Stringfellow's

EVERYTHING was fine until the stripper came out of the cake. Well... I say "stripper", but she was actually pre-stripped, or at any rate as stripped as she was going to get; the usual kit: stockings, suspenders, G-string and bra, all white, and out of the last item there poked (or swelled) two ideal creamy breasts.

If Labour can't say what it thinks now, when can it?

WHEN I was at university in the 1970s, soft drugs were as routine a part of college life as lectures and rent strikes. I read Virgil during a sit-in and worried more about the tobacco in the occasional joint I shared with friends than its marijuana contents. When I told my impeccably liberal father what I'd been doing, he hit the roof. I calmed him down by pointing out that I knew no one who had progressed from cannabis to heroin and that alcohol binges were more of a problem than people who sat in their rooms smoking dope and listening to Santana.

Running a successful club is harder than it looks, say the veterans of London's clubland

Johnny Gold, Tramp (founded 26 years ago)

pounds 130m buys you a lot of canapes - but not a lot else

DICKIE FANTASTIC on the schmooze

Time for cocktails at the cutting edge of art

Contemporary Art Market: Geraldine Norman discovers two exclusive worlds colliding head-on at a London nightspot

La Dolce Musto (ouch)

This week, the 'Village Voice' columnist and New York bitch about town Michael Musto starred at parties for 'Absolutely Fabulous', 'Batman Forever', Janet Leigh's autobiography and Lady Bunny's 'Wigstock' movie. Nick Walker spends an evening on the cutting edge with the doyenne of Downtown

A cheap time was had by all

The Club Awards were a glamour-free zone, reports Monique Roffey

World, shut your mouth

Live and Uncut

Sweeter than axle grease

Is the musky new fragrance from Harley-Davidson a passport to biker heaven? Would-be real man Richard McClure finds out

The highlights of my mousey-brown life

I knew it was only a matter of time before I succumbed. As a recovering peroxide junkie, I had successfully kept off the stuff for the last five years and accepted, philosophically, my natural attributes: a head of mediocre, mousey brown.

Heard the one about the festival?

Mark Wareham spent last week at the London Comedy Festival. Something f unny was going on.But not the jokes

Bachelors want women who glow, purr or slither

BOOK launches are not events normally associated with girls in fishnet tights and leotards with no bottoms. But most book launches are not in aid of Nesta Wyn Ellis, John Major's biographer (principal revelation: John Major is sexy), who has now compiled Britain's Top 100 Eligible Bachelors. She celebrated publication of this latest work at Stringfellow's on Wednesday night (Peter Stringfellow is bachelor number 30), where the first sight to greet arriving guests was not the usual scruffy author or intense literary type, but girls with no cellulite and the willingness to walk around with only fishnet tights covering their buttocks.
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick