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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?

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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Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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