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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?

Gadgets not included: Two-year training programme will cover issues such as cyber threats, espionage, organised crime and terrorism

Now recruiting teen Bonds: Security services target school leavers for next generation of 'trainee spies'

Radical plans created by Britain’s security services will see school leavers recruited as “trainee spies” to form a new generation of espionage experts.

Anthony Hilton: Private banks have lots to shout about, but they’re far too private for that

For years on my way to work I used to go past the front door of the private bank Duncan Lawrie without knowing it was there – which shows how private they were. But it also underlines a dilemma for firms such as theirs. When the essence of what they offer is a discreet personal service, how do you let people know you exist?

Pupils look through microscopes during a science lesson

Science is downgraded in primary schools as English and maths given priority, say inspectors

It is often not taught every day - and half of pupils are given no targets for it

Misunderstood: Biggles creator W E Johns, pictured in 1960

Biggles flies uncensored: more whisky, less jingoism

World View: W E Johns's tales about the often derided but intrepid fighter pilot have been unfairly maligned

Cameron is attacking those he thinks ‘lack aspiration’. What would he know?

I’ve taught hundreds of pupils from poorer backgrounds, and of course they want to get on in life

The richer you are, the more likely you will get into a top university, says report

Rates of success between rich and poor is not simply down to grades

Andy McSmith's Diary: You don’t need to rise too early to catch Justine Greening out on geography

When hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered homeless and desperate by one of the most ferocious storms on record, it is an occasion for the Secretary of State for International Development to move into action.

John Major slams private school privilege: What did he do to change the system while he was PM?

All Major did was allow a few high-performing schools serving the middle classes to opt out into grant-maintained status

World acclaim: Malala’s autobiography has been hailed outside her native Pakistan, where the Taliban threatens to attack shops that stock it

Inspiration or danger? Private schools in Pakistan ban Malala Yousafzai's book

The education campaigner's story of being shot by the Taliban would be 'negative' for children

Robert Webb rejoined the Labour Party after reading Russell Brand's article

Russell Brand hits back at Robert Webb: 'I'm not in favour of death camps'

Russell Brand has attacked his fellow comedian's privileged Oxbridge roots

Back to School with the i paper

What do you wish you had known about working life whilst you were at school? With many young people struggling to find employment and a bewildering variety of jobs out there, career advice is more important than ever.

Katherine Birbalsingh with the Education Secretary Michael Gove at the 2010 Conservative conference

Tories' top teacher Katherine Birbalsingh to open free school in Brent after long battle

Katherine Birbalsingh set for return after speech at Conservative Party Conference cost her a previous job

Angela Akers, 42, pursued a successful career as a senior dental officer

Special report: Working-class pupils went to private schools under Margaret Thatcher’s abolished assisted places scheme - how did they get on?

Under Margaret Thatcher’s government, they were plucked from poverty and taken out of state schools to attend top private schools instead, courtesy of the state. 

Ofsted boss Sir Michael Wilshaw argued that schools such as Eton, Harrow and Charterhouse Westminster were established to provide an education for the poor

Private schools must offer state schools more than just 'crumbs off their tables', says Ofsted boss

Chief inspector argues schools such as Eton, Harrow and Charterhouse Westminster were established to provide an education for the poor

The News Matrix: Wednesday 2 October 2013

Attacks cost £154m in lost tourism

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skies as 007 for first time
Sport
footballThe latest scores and news from Dortmund vs Arsenal and Liverpool vs Ludogorets
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
Life and Style
techCriminals now targeting e-readers
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Career Services

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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week