News TK Maxx store on Kensington High Street

TK Maxx was to blame for my worst outfits while growing up near the Lewisham branch. Miles of cut-price "designer" clobber by unheard-of labels, where every other Wetherspoon's-ready shirt seemed to be made by Lambretta, who I thought did scooters.

Restaurateur who says that he was imitated wants to sink the Titanic

IMITATION MAY be the sincerest form of flattery, but notwhen it is alleged to have occurred among the designer cocktails and rocket salads of London's restaurants. A High Court judge has been asked to close the Titanic eatery on the grounds that it is in effect a replica of its arch-rival, the Atlantic Bar and Grill.

Man had sex with girl, 12, but goes free

A MAN who had unlawful sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl escaped a prison sentence yesterday after a judge criticised her mother for allowing her to be out late at night in the West End of London.

Family Affair: `I never had my teenage years, now I'm loving it'

Tina Galea, 48, was born in Capua, near Naples, and came to England when she was 12. She married at 15 and has five children. Eighteen months ago she separated from her second husband and started going out with friends for the first time. When her eldest daughter, 31-year-old care worker Silvana's own marriage ended last year, she moved back with her mother. They live in Hove, East Sussex.

Leading Article: Mink farming is cruel and must end now

THEY MAY have been wrong-headed and dangerous, but the recent mass liberations of mink from their cages did at least force attention on this issue. Now a Private Member's Bill, sponsored by Maria Eagle MP, is attempting to outlaw mink farming in this country. The bill has attracted cross-party support. It should be welcomed not only by anti-fur models cavorting in Piccadilly Circus but by all those campaigning for the better treatment of animals.

Words: Mooch, v. and n.

A BUSY autumn, so now a mooch in New York and visits to the Society Library. Back in 1925, American Speech called it "a gem of a word", but to say as much now raises eyebrows, for it has connotations of gambling and drug-dealing absent from the OED, which dwells upon bunking off to pick blackberries.

Marco's Titanic: lawyers and PRs first

IN KEEPING with its name and its owner's reputation, the opening of the Titanic restaurant was never going to go smoothly. Marco Pierre White's latest venture is already at the centre of a storm that has been brewing for the last month.

'I want to be a martyr for gay rights cause'

NEARLY FOUR years ago, after "outing" the Bishop of London, Peter Tatchell declared that his ambition was to be imprisoned for fighting for homosexual equality. "I want to be a martyr," he said.

Mouse `found in Topic bar'

A WOMAN bit into a chocolate bar containing the head and shoulders of a mouse, a court heard yesterday.

Football: Sheringham blames English society for football's burgeoning booze problem

The Manchester United and England striker has become the latest footballer to go into print.

Blacks Leisure in talks on Lillywhites stores

BLACKS Leisure, the fast-growing sports and outdoor retailer, yesterday confirmed that it was in talks with the Portuguese owners of Lillywhites, the famous chain of sports stores.

Comedy: The show that taste forgot

The word "dangerous" clings to Jerry Sadowitz (right) like a limpet to a rock. It stems from a period when TV commissioning editors found his incendiary material too hot to handle and a member of the audience came on stage at the Montreal Comedy Festival to whack him after an offensive remark.

Reviews: Wednesday's Book: Mr Rinyo-Clacton's Offer by Russell Hoban (Jonathan Cape, pounds 14.99)

Stories like this come at the end of things. They are the Devil to deal with, like telegraphs from the front lines of a war whose origins have long been forgotten. Wrapped in the coils of an ancient underlying story, they can hardly bear to mention, the protagonists of Mr Rinyo-Clacton's Offer - a neat example of the type - slide over the echoes of that tale like waterbugs on Prozac. Around them, there is the clatter and clutter of pond life. Below their feet, the deep is bottomless.

Burford shares slide as founder steps down

Shares in Burford slid to a 17-month low yesterday after Nick Leslau, one of the property group's founders with Nigel Wray, announced he was bowing out of executive duties. The surprise decision sent the shares 3.5p lower to 104.5p, their lowest level since hitting a peak of 159p in January.

Clean sweep at Trocadero

Trocadero, owner of the eponymous leisure centre at London's Piccadilly Circus, yesterday announced a virtual clean sweep of the board by former executives of First Leisure with the appointment of John Conlan as chairman and Nick Tamblyn as managing director.

Trocadero sale heralds fresh tack

Trocadero, the AIM-listed group headed by Nigel Wray, yesterday signalled its intention to get back to its roots in leisure with a deal worth up to pounds 210m to sell its main Trocadero and London Pavilion properties back to Burford, the property group from which it was spun out of in 1995, writes Magnus Grimond.
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