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I've been thinking about Reformed Characters this week, as Russell Brand and the Duchess of York – and their little Venn baby, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson – all variously parade their guilt and redemption as though they were the latest designer lust-haves. Frankly I wouldn't know guilt and redemption even if I had a threesome with them and they showed me a playback of it the next day, but it's certainly a very popular pose right now – even more so with the falling away of faith in this country. Which goes to prove that clever old GK Chesterton got it right when he said: "When a man ceases to believe in God he does not believe in nothing, he believes in anything."
Perhaps we have got to the point where deference and admiration are offered to people who have actually earned them
The Duchess of York has admitted to a "terrible, terrible error of judgment" after accepting £15,000 from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Winfrey launches a $400m cable channel dedicated to her brand
British retailers are beating the economic blues in America. Kate Youde and Rachel Shields report
The Duchess of York told chat show queen Oprah Winfrey she had been drinking before she offered access to her ex-husband for cash.
Anybody who's anybody has a financial hard-luck story these days. John Walsh examines the new poverty. Case histories: Holly Williams
Media Studies: If journalists fret about the consequences of what they write we can say goodbye to revealing journalism
Murderess goes missing from open prison where she is serving a life sentence
Sandie Shaw versus the EU: could one ask for a more fantastic feud? Yet it seems that this one is a reality, after the right-on Sixties singer – lately a campaigner for musicians' copyrights – found her attempts to lobby the European Parliament thwarted by Brussels bureaucracy.
You got to hand it to Fergie: she's a game old girl. Next week the world will be exposed to the tale of how Sarah, Duchess of York, left her £2.5m New York apartment overlooking Central Park to travel to Hull to lecture the underclass about healthy eating.
As Dame Vivienne prepares to return to the London catwalk, she talks Susannah Frankel through her extraordinary 'family album'