Sport Ian Madigan scored nine points, including a try, to give Ireland Wolfhounds a 14-8 victory over England Saxons

Madigan and his Leinster half-back partner Isaac Boss scored a try apiece to give Ireland second XV victory

Jurassic plums, at a store near you

A new fruit being marketed as a "Dinosaur Egg" goes on sale today in an attempt to attract even the most fruit-hating youngsters to healthy eating. The Californian-grown fruit, made by crossing an apricot and a plum, is officially known as a "pluot".

Aitken's secretary was offered plum job to buy her silence

The secretary of the former minister Jonathan Aitken has said she was offered a lucrative job as an enticement to stop her giving damaging evidence against her former boss.

Search for Hidden rider ends in Hills

Michael Hills has been given the plum ride on Hidden Meadow in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket a week on Saturday. Ian Balding has chosen him ahead of Ray Cochrane for the colt, the five-length winner of the European Free Handicap under Frankie Dettori last week. Dettori will partner Shamikh for Godolphin in the first Classic.

Equestrianism: Whitaker enjoying purple patch

Nick Skelton kept the Virtual steamroller on course last night when he rode four marvellous clear rounds to collect the winner-takes-all prize of pounds 11,500 in the Vink Christmas Masters at the Olympia Show Jumping Championships.

Food & Drink Special: Pudding them to the test

THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS PUDDING TO MAKE, OR, IF YOU CAN'T BE BOTHERED, OUR PANEL PICKS THE BEST TO BUY

Simon makes grand triumph look simple

Hugo Simon won the plum award of the Monterrey International Horse Show yesterday, when he rode two clear rounds on E.T. to secure the pounds 93,000 first prize in the grand prix without recourse to a jump-off. He will also collect a minimum of pounds 16,500 as a bonus in the Pulsar Crown series.

Rich pickings from careful plotting

A small plot can produce an ample fruit harvest, Anna Pavord claims

THINK BIG

Rady to wear

Saatchi and Rogers are plum signings for upper chamber

New working peers: List spans glamorous names from business and public relations to loyal party workers and voices from ethnic minorities

Skelton closes on rare double

Nick Skelton rode the speedy mare, Sublime, to win yesterday's Silk Cut Derby Trial, defeating his long-standing friend and Olympic team-mate, Michael Whitaker on Touchdown, by a 2.29sec margin. Michel Robert, of France, filled third place on Degina.

GREAT BOARS OF TODAY

With the focus on the beef crisis, pork has been enjoying a rosy profile. This could be due to good luck, rather than good judgement or good husbandry. When, in 1988, it was thought that mad cow disease was passed on via animal feeds, the government stopped the practice of feeding cattle with processed animal waste. It is only now, eight years on, that we learn recycled animal waste was still fed to pigs. It was finally this March, with the revelation that a new strain of CJD had emerged among humans, that this feed was banned. How many of us would have believed that, having isolated animal waste as the agent of BSE in cows, they wouldn't think it mattered if they went on pushing it into other animals? It's now clear that in our quest for cheap food we don't scrutinise the means by which the food industry achieves it. In our New Charter for Meat, we call for the food industry and supermarkets to make clear to the consumer what their criteria are. We need to know by what standards their meat is healthy and safe. We need to review their definitions of value and, above all, taste. This week, we look at pork.

Country: `I'm not going near them,' said Mr X

No varroa around here, touch wood. The parasite that attacks bees doesn't seem to have made it to our neck of the woods. On the contrary, things are humming, and swarms are whizzing in all directions.

Plum jobs in the world of advertising

As readers must now be aware, we are nearing the end of National Prune Week. Not every aspect has gone according to plan.

Jones daydreams on Digpast

The riding limitations of Davy Jones, ex-Monkees star and winner on Digpast at Lingfield last Thursday, were cruelly exposed at the same venue yesterday, writes Ian Davies.

Plum pudding in the melting pot

Christmas in America by Penne L. Restad Oxford, pounds 17.99; From Santa Claus to `Away in the Manger', many of our best loved Christmas traditions are American imports, according to a new cultural history. By Christina Hardyment
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living