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?

Hungry for education? No thanks: I've already Eton

As a new scheme launches to get poorer pupils into leading schools, we should accept there are better ways to broach Etonian privilege than calling for its destruction

Terence Blacker: Where have all of the leaders gone? sdfghsdfgh

They appear on Channel 4 News or Newsnight most evenings and every morning on the Today programme. They are often articulate, confident, even charming, as they explain what they will do next as senior broadcasters, politicians or policemen. What they lack, almost without exception, is the most important quality of all: the style of a leader.

It doesn’t make you normal, Nadine, just silly

The news that MP Nadine Dorries is entering the I'm a Celebrity jungle has ruffled some political feathers

Five-minute Memoir: Salley Vickers on first-job hell

When I was not quite 15, my dad, who was the kindest of fathers, decided that I should learn what 'real' work meant. He was a trade union leader, head of what is now the PCS – the Public and Commercial Services Union – having come to that brand of socialism via a youthful commitment to communism. His particular union served that branch of the public sector which included office cleaners. Indeed, it was his proud boast that he had been responsible for unionising the public sector cleaners.

'Rogue trader' Kweku Adoboli says he lost control in financial crisis

An alleged rogue trader accused of gambling away £1.4 billion described to a jury today how he “lost control in the maelstrom of the financial crisis”.

Mayor criticised for telling Atlantic City residents to stay put for Hurricane Sandy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faulted Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford for advising residents to stay put as Hurricane Sandy barreled in, leaving a large number stranded as water levels rise.

UBS banker Kweku Adoboli denies being a rogue trader after losing £1.4bn

A banker accused of Britain's biggest ever fraud today denied he was acting as a rogue trader when he lost £1.4 billion.

'Rogue trader' Kweku Adoboli weeps as he takes stand in £1.4bn fraud trial

An alleged rogue trader wept as he gave evidence today as a court heard how his actions threatened to lose his employer £7.5bn.

You Can Still Make A Killing, Southwark Playhouse, London

As sharp as the suits of its City traders, Nicholas Pierpan's new play trains its satiric, devilishly clued-up, yet ungloating gaze on the fall-out – emotional, familial, institutional – of the financial collapse of 2008.

Editorial: Right problem, wrong answers, Mr Milburn

There can be little doubt that Alan Milburn, the former Labour MP and now the Government's social mobility tsar, has his finger on the pulse when he identifies one of the key problems besetting our education system. For too long, there has been a vast gap in achievements between the haves and have-nots in accessing places at leading universities.

Top grade GCSE passes fall for first time in 10 years

The number of students obtaining five top grade GCSE passes including maths and English has fallen for the first time in a decade.

Fewer students achieve three or more top A-level grades

Falling numbers of sixth-formers scored three or more top A-level grades this summer, official figures show.

First fall in GCSE A*-C grades recorded

Fewer teenagers scored at least five Cs at GCSE this year - the first time the numbers have dropped in almost a decade.

Chalk Talk: Worried about the English Baccalaureate? You're not alone

There are some who believe cynically that to push a cigarette paper between the thoughts of chief exams regulator Glenys Stacey and Education Secretary Michael Gove, you would have to be very lucky. They should have been at the conference of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) last week.

David Cameron

Tories quietly drop David Cameron's ‘A-list’
for minority candidates

Success of programme marred by ‘rebel’ MPs and backlash from party members

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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'