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?

Editorial: Keep politicians' children out of it

It was hard not to feel sympathy for Nick Clegg when he was asked on his radio phone-in this week about plans for his eldest son's education. With Antonio's transfer to secondary school looming this autumn, the Cleggs face the choice all parents face at this stage: not just which school to choose but, if money allows, whether to go state or private. The dilemma is particularly sharp in London because of the shortage of places and – despite the big improvement in the capital's schools – because of the gap between the truly excellent and, frankly, not so excellent.

Mark Zuckerberg speaking at the Facebook headquarters in California

Mark Zuckerberg to host fundraiser for controversial governor Chris Christie

The fundraiser is the first known political fundraising activity by Zuckerberg

Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle, Soho Theatre, London

Comedian-turned-author, turned-comedian again, Alexei Sayle was rather hoarse for his first proper standup show in seventeen years.

Ski news: You should have booked by now

February half term is crunch time for ski holiday bookings, particularly in the French Alps, which is the UK's most popular destination for ski holidays. With good snow conditions, next month looks like it will be very busy indeed.

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh returns home owing the crowd some maximums

India play England in the fourth one-day international tomorrow morning

Barack Obama unveils America's biggest gun-control push in generations

Sweeping reforms include background checks for gun purchases and ban on assault weapons

IoS book review: The Starboard Sea, By Amber Dermont

Life: not plain sailing, even if you're rich

Terence Blacker: Age is not a handicap, old attitudes are

Those looking for amusement in the dreariness of the winter news could do worse than follow the progress of the racing pundit John McCririck's lawsuit against his former employer, Channel 4. Like many public figures who pride themselves on their political incorrectness, the studiously eccentric former bookmaker has ended up taking refuge in the very culture he has always mocked. Citing a breach of his human rights, he is claiming £500,000 for "unfair, career-damaging public humiliation" and a further £2.5m for what he calls "the feared scourge of our society" – ageism. McCririck is 72.

Chalk Talk: Why shouldn't we help white, working-class boys aim higher?

Just over 30 years ago – when I first started reporting on education – it was all about giving women equal opportunities and encouraging them to apply to university. There was concern that too few had the aspiration to go on to higher education or were likely to opt for economically important subjects such as science and engineering.

The Outsider, by Jonathan Wilson

In what is quintessentially a team pursuit, the goalkeeper is an anomaly, the one player left in isolation for much of the game, "aloof, solitary, impassive", in the words of Vladimir Nabokov, one of many literary figures to have stood between the posts.

Gives overseas aid to MoD and BBC, says think-tank

A third of the money the Government spends on overseas aid should be diverted to the military budget so that Britain’s armed forces can respond better to natural catastrophes like earthquakes and tsunamis, a right-wing policy institute argues.

Some of the country’s sharpest brains, including Lady Justice Hallett (left) and Lord Justice Leveson, have just been interviewed for the job of Supreme Court justice

Wanted: the sharpest legal minds in the country

The search is on to find three Justices to fill vacancies in the Supreme Court

Up to £1.4m a year is spent on child benefit for pupils at Eton College

Taxpayers fork out £500m every year to help children go to private schools

Up to £10m a week is spent by taxpayers on funding child benefit for private school pupils – or as much as half a billion pounds a year, it emerged last night.

The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper By Jonathan Wilson

This winning account of football's troubled sentinels covers the park, from myth to tactics

A teacher is taught to use a gun in Utah

Sitting ducks? US gun groups offer training for teachers

Teacher Kevin Leatherbarrow holds a licence to carry a concealed weapon and doesn't see anything wrong with arming teachers in the aftermath of the deadly Connecticut school shooting.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links