Life and Style

If you are reaching for your handkerchief it might be too late to stop the spread of flu, research suggests.

Dance: Centripetal force

There is no ballet at all announced for London until June, but enthusiasts have found the solution: just take the train or bus to see Birmingham Royal Ballet in its home theatre. The new season starting this week is as imaginative as ever.

Racing: Private Peace books ticket to Cheltenham

Private Peace earned a crack at the Royal SunAlliance (Novice) Chase at the Cheltenham Festival by winning the Baileys Arkle Challenge Cup at Leopardstown yesterday. Now the winner of four of his six races over fences this season, Private Peace responded bravely to Charlie Swan's urging to catch Mr Baxter Basics on the run-in to score by a head.

TV CHOICE: Previews

Fortean TV (8pm C4) Stigmatics, a Dutch Elvis-impersonator who claims he was zapped and possessed by the spirit of Presley whilst on a visit to Graceland, and the first ever recorded hybrid between a swan and a goose - alive and well and living in a swan sanctuary in Eton.

Racing: Favourite out of Ladbroke

The best-backed horse has been pulled out of tomorrow's big race. Richard Edmondson reports.

Racing: Swan has dispensation to attend Court

The favourite for Saturday's big race has at last got a rider. Richard Edmondson reports.

Going to extremes for the company

Trainers brave the South Pole - and all in the cause of management skills

Racing: Istabraq cruising towards Champion

A top-flight British contender for the Champion Hurdle has yet to emerge, but in Ireland it is a different story.

Theatre: There was an old Merchant of Venice

The trouble with the Royal Shakespeare Company is that it does so much Shakespeare. No, that's wrong: the trouble with the RSC is that it does so little Shakespeare, but does it too often. The tourists and school parties who provide a large slice of its revenue, mean wheeling out the big guns - Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, the jollier comedies.

Health: American studies confirm that sperm counts have halved over past 50 years

Sperm counts are falling faster than has been thought, according to the latest US surveys. Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor, examines whether modern living is to blame for declining male fertility.

Letter: Kangaroo carnival

Sir: Having reported Sir Les Patterson's intrusion into an encore of "The Swan" ("Sir Les on song", 4 November), Nicholas Williams cannot resist adding: "At last: a marsupial in The Carnival of the Animals!"

Football: Swans still waiting for a saviour

FAN'S EYE VIEW: No 228 Swansea

Rural: Winter calls, from the ends of the earth

It is autumn, and geese and swans are embarking on their migration south, steering by well-remembered landmarks, or by the sun and stars.

Football: Gray adds a touch of class to Bury

Bury 1 Tranmere Rovers 0

High noon turns to high camp at Hambro shoot-out

After 25 years in the chair, Lord Hambro would have chosen different circumstances in which to bow out from his eponymous banking group, but he wasted no time addressing the only issue exercising a packed annual meeting. High Noon at Tower Hill, it had been billed, and Charlie came out guns ablazing.

PIT STOP

If you're in search of a retreat from all that overhead noise, head for the Swan Inn at Radwell (01234 781351).
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable