Life and Style

Live-streams of meals can attract viewers of thousands night after night - with audiences donating enough money for the host to live on

Leading article: That sinking feeling

It might sound morbid to some that the menus from the Titanic should have been compiled into a book, including those from the infamous evening of 14 April 1912, when it really was last orders all round.

Tory MP Anne Main ordered to repay £7,100 after flat probe

A Conservative MP was ordered to repay £7,100 and apologise in writing today after a parliamentary investigation into her claims for second home allowances on a flat where her daughter was living.

My Week: Simon Fowler

The managing director of John Lewis's Peter Jones department store keeps staff and shoppers motivated during the busy Christmas season

Album: James Brown, Live at the Garden (Hip-O-Select)

Dating from 1967, Live at the Garden was one of James Brown's less auspicious releases, which is why it's taken so long to be reissued in this expanded format. In the first place, it wasn't actually recorded at Madison Square Garden, or even Kew, but at the Latin Casino, a New Jersey supper-club. To approximate the ambience of the larger venue, faked crowd noise was liberally ladled all over it, including a version of "Let Yourself Go" taken from an after-hours rehearsal. To squeeze the 150-minute show on to a 40-minute album, several of the best performances were either truncated or left off entirely, most notably a storming nine-minute version of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", which captures the Godfather on the cusp of his new funk sound, with Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks's double-drum alliance locking into an ingenious syncopated propulsion of the kind that would, just a few weeks later, produce the seminal "Cold Sweat"; and an extended "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" – though the microphone placement on the strings is so bad they're left buried in the back of the mix. Both are restored on a second disc that also dispenses with the fake crowd noise, leaving one better able to track the lock-tight changes of rhythm, and appreciate the interlocking rhythm guitars of Chank Nolen.

Ski reps' days off raise concerns

At Monday's inquest into the death of skier Stephen Gladman, who fell into a snow hollow while skiing at the French resort of La Plagne in February 2007, it was said that on the day of the accident none of the resort employees of Thomson – the company with which Mr Gladman and his family had travelled – were working. Apparently, they had all taken the day off.

Tim Walker: 'Salad Club takes place in someone's living room and has its own etiquette'

The Couch Surfer: 'The washing up was being done in the bath. This was a delightful quirk rather than irritation'

Virginia Ironside’s Dilemmas: I want to visit my stepfather without getting abuse from his wife

Dear Virginia,

Every other afternoon, I visit my stepfather, who has terminal cancer. It helps to relieve his wife, who takes the dogs out, and does the shopping – and once a week I stay for supper. It gives me a chance to talk to my stepdad about the old days – he's the last connection I have with my family. But last time she hurled abuse at me, saying why should she be forced out into the rain whenever I came round and that she wasn't prepared to cook for me. I was so hurt. I was only trying to help. What can I do?

Yours sincerely, Caro

Can the Pope solve riddle of the Last Supper?

Vatican's designs on building annoy Israel

British businesses warned not to cut back on lunch and travel expenses

Nearly two-thirds of firms have now scrapped or reduced lunch allowances, according to a new survey.

Credit crisis diary: The bankers who sang for their supper

Yet more tales reach us concerning Sir Fred Goodwin's ultimately disastrous tenure at Royal Bank of Scotland. Sir Fred reputed to have been something of an authoritarian boss, apparently kept a karaoke machine at RBS's impressive head office on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Not because he enjoyed a sing-song himself, you understand – no, the idea was that getting top executives to belt out some tunes would hone their competitive instincts. What we now want to know is what was on Sir Fred's playlist? Simply Red's Money's too Tight to Mention, say?

Observations: Covent Garden chorus learn to sing for their supper

While the stars get the limelight, Covent Garden's unsung heroes are the chorus – 48 stalwarts who tread the boards night after night, rehearsing and performing for six long days each week. "It's a crazy life, but I love it," says tenor George Freeburn, who hopes to carry on until he retires at 65. Like many of his colleagues, he could have been a soloist, but life in these elite ranks is the summit of his ambition: this, he says, is the Manchester United of opera companies. But like all team work, this has its stresses, particularly since the arrival of chorus master Renato Balsadonna, a stickler for discipline whose ferocious technical demands have undeniably pushed up standards.

Love doctor: What's sex got to do with it?

Are love and sex inextricably linked? My dad was a love-and-sex man. At least I think he was. He certainly wasn't the kind of guy to say "phwooar!" (if that's how it's spelt). And he was never unfaithful to his partners. My mother, on the other hand, was a sex-without-love person. When they divorced, my father, on talking to the head of the Royal College of Art, where she worked, was asked by the principal how he could have stood all her affairs. "Oh, it wasn't affairs, it was only flirting," said my father. "Flirting?" replied the principal, his eyes bulging. "My dear man, your wife went to bed with everyone in the college, myself included!"

Pandora: Emily's no longer kissing for her supper

Nowadays Emily Mortimer prefers to try out for Hollywood blockbusters than trail the English drama circuit. And who can blame her? During one of the dainty actress's first major forays into British cinema, The 51st State, her audition merely required her to snog the Scottish actor Robert Carlyle.

'Spitting vicar' ordered to leave parish

A Church of England vicar accused of intimidating and spitting at parishioners was ordered to vacate his post by his bishop today.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before