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While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

Mr Bean, Michael Fish and Jerusalem: Is this the Britain that immigrants know and love?

Jonathan Brown watches the Olympic opening ceremony with a group of Congolese refugees and asks what they think makes Britain great

Hugh Laurie - comedian, actor, now musician - on stage

Hugh Laurie & The Copper Bottom Band, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Marilyn Manson, Brixton Academy, London

He's an English actor who's as authentically bluesy as a game of cricket – but Hugh Laurie does a great impression of an American roots original

View of Berwick town from across the river

A foot in two nations along the Tweed

Criss-cross between England and Scotland on this scenic Northumberland walk, says Mark Rowe

Tory party chairman, Baroness Warsi

Diary: Ukip's Tory defectors could be thorn in the side for PM

The UK Independence Party has more reason than any other to complain about the British election system: despite winning 900,000 votes at the last general election it has no MPs. In the European Parliament, which is elected by proportional representation, the party has a dozen MEPs.

Philip Hensher: Of Blackadder and white women of a certain age

There are voices out there which traditional media neglect through their age, ethnicity, culture, sexuality

Griff Rhys Jones: 'We tried to write a sitcom together - I was hopeless, but we had the jolliest of times'

How We Met: Christopher Luscombe & Griff Rhys Jones

'We tried to write a sitcom together – I was hopeless, but we had the jolliest of times'

Atkinson out of hospital after supercar crash

Actor rowan Atkinson left hospital in a wheelchair yesterday after crashing his high-performance sports car.

Actor Rowan Atkinson was injured in sports car crash

Actor Rowan Atkinson left hospital in a wheelchair today after crashing his high-performance sports car.

Official royal wedding list released

The full list of confirmed guests attending the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was released by Britain's monarchy today.

Oil spike may force rate rise, Bank deputy warns

The Bank of England may be forced to raise interest rates if commodity prices continue to rise, the deputy governor, Charles Bean, has warned.

Greg Davies: Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog, Pleasance Courtyard

As part of the successful sketch group We Are Klang, the stout figure of Greg Davies often joked that he looks like "a fat Rik Mayall". Now flying solo it transpires that Davies's verbal flourishes could equally be likened to Mayall's character Lord Flashheart in Blackadder, and indeed to Blackadder himself. As he is aged 40, it's little wonder that Davies's style owes something to the voices of early to mid "alternative comedy", the Ben Elton era, but that doesn't mean that the 6'8" comedian isn't down with the kids. He used to teach them after all, both in real life and as Mr Gilbert on the E4 comedy series The Inbetweeners.

Rural neighbours condemn comedian's modern home plan

Comedian Rowan Atkinson divided opinion with plans to build a futuristic home in the middle of the countryside.

David Flatman: My Blackadder accent is mocked but cunning plan now is to rest

A meaty, fun tour rounds off a long, hard season – and smiling at the haka is a perfect way to bow out

IRB to seek solution to rising injury toll and excessive kicking

Rugby's governing body to host conference in Dublin next month in attempt to address major problems afflicting the sport
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific