Arts and Entertainment

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

Young Londoner raises $1m from Innocent smoothie founders and Skype investors to launch education app

Burgess founded Education Apps while he was a student at a prestigious London school aged 17

French schools battle boycott after hoax text messages warn of 'masturbation classes'

Almost half the pupils from some French primary schools were absent from class after the text messages were sent

Head of St Mary’s, Mike Kennedy, aims for ‘all-comers’

Top Merseyside private school St Mary’s College signs up to state sector

The elite Catholic college, launchpad to many illustrious alumni, will be open to all-comers

As many as 100 independent schools could join the state sector within a decade as free schools or academies

15 changed over so far, but many more could follow, says Lord Adonis

Stephen McGann, who plays Dr Turner in 'Don't Call the Midwife', has said the acting profession is excluding working class children

Call The Midwife's Stephen McGann: Council estate kids now excluded from acting careers

The actor said the profession is becoming so limited that a 'messy kid from a council estate' like himself would no longer be able to forge a career

Has austerity reached new depths? Tatler magazine publishes guide to UK's best state schools

High society mag explains that private education is becoming too expensive even for its red-trousered readership

Tom Hodgkinson: 'I never learnt to 'ollie', but my son sure as hell will'

It's often said that those who have failed in adult life look to their children to succeed. They become pushy parents and live vicariously through their children's achievements. This is now happening to me. But I'm not hoping that my children will become lawyers or doctors or hedge-fund managers. I'm hoping that they'll be good at skateboarding.

Album of the week: Nick Lowe, 'Quality Street' (Proper)

Warmth and wit light up this festive box of delights 

Will Prince Charles, the 'Defender of Faiths', stand up for Christians in Israel?

In parts of the Middle East the West appears powerless to help beleaguered Christians

Atlanta student Sam McNair is suspended for a year for 'hugging' teacher

The 17-year-old senior at Duluth High School has been suspended for violating school rules on sexual harassment

One in three parents of five to 16-year-olds admitted to moving house to get into an area which they thought had better schools

Well off parents resorting to 'ethically dubious' practices to get their children into good school

Better off parents are resorting to “ethically dubious” and “possibly illegal” practices to get their children into a good school, according to research published today.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: A straight answer from Boris? You might as well ask Jeeves

Having improbably suggested that he might turn to writing romantic fiction after stepping down as Mayor of London, rather than something more humdrum like becoming leader of the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson was asked to cite a model. Cleverly, he mentioned Rosie M Banks, who was herself a fictional character (of PG Wodehouse’s). This is a prototypical Boris answer, underlining the riskiness of taking him at face value. Did “No, I will not be an MP in 2015,” really mean no? Or could he yet still be dragged unwillingly to a safe seat?

Nathan B. Forrest High School named after Ku Klux Klan leader will be renamed

Duval County Public School Board voted unanimously to replace the name on Monday evening at a school where over half of the pupils are black

Jack Whitehall and Gemma Chan attend the British Comedy Awards

British Comedy Awards 2013 winners: List in full

Jack Whitehall was crowned King of Comedy at the ceremony in London

'Oxbridge doesn't have enough black students,' says American civil rights legend Jesse Jackson

21 Oxbridge colleges failed to admit even one black student in the last year

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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?