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?

If you ask me...My tips for winning the battle of the school places

Plus, how to make your children feel they're at a fee-paying school

Eastleigh by-election: Maria Hutchings' private school comments weren't the only cause of defeat, but they highlight Tory hypocrisy on education

Scrapping public schools would be a step towards a more meritocratic society

The Education Secretary said one school backer had received threats

Creationist sect among 100-plus faith applicants for free schools

Plymouth Brethren failed in bid – but one in four contenders have religious affiliations

Tony Sheridan: Singer and guitarist who was a catalyst in the early career of The Beatles

Tony Sheridan: Singer and guitarist who was a catalyst in the early career of The Beatles

When he went to Hamburg he found that the wild and crazy lifestyle suited him perfectly

Headmaster accuses Nick Clegg of 'double standards' over independent schools

A leading headmaster has accused Nick Clegg of having “double standards” for considering sending his son to an independent school at the same time as he tries to limit the number of university places available to pupils in private education.

Britten: ‘Rather a spoilt boy, and certainly a busy one’

Review: Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century, By Paul Kildia
Benjamin Britten: A Life for Music, By Neil Powell

There is remarkable accord between two new biographies of this prodigious composer who was, by necessity, an outsider

PE in school: Actions would speak louder than words

Helping children grow up healthy is an essential part of education

More students aiming for top universities are investing in extra tuition

Summer exams help rise in Easter revision courses

Demand for A-level top-up sessions is increasing, says James Wardrobe

The private school grievances of head teachers like Frances King do not deserve such a public hearing

As a beneficiary of a private education I know it confers obvious and provable advantages. Why should parents demand even more?

US Boy Scouts ready to drop ban on gay members and leaders

The US Scout movement is signalling its readiness to end a ban on gay members and leaders after a wave of protest.

The News Matrix: Monday 28 January 2013

State of emergency after dozens die

Frank Keating has died at the age of 75

Frank Keating: Doyen of sportswriters whose work was suffused with wit and and joy

Frank Keating, who has died at the age of 75, was a giant of sports journalism, although as a columnist and feature writer whose work habitually brought out the humanity and humour in a subject, he would have chortled self-mockingly at such a grandiose epitaph.

Nick Clegg: 'Uncertainty is the enemy of growth and jobs'

An open letter to Nick Clegg on the matter of his children possibly being educated privately

The Deputy Prime Minister, educated at Westminster School himself, says the State sector isn't good enough for his children. He doesn't know what he's talking about

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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