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Stella McCartney can see a friend in her nanny

Trending: With friends like these, who needs employees...

Who wouldn't like the sort of mates Stella McCartney has? I don't mean Gwyneth and Rihanna (although I bet they're a right laugh), but pals who are altogether more, you know, useful. "I have a nanny, though I find that word jarring," Stella said in a recent interview. "I tell her: 'I just want to call you a friend'."

Research reveals concerning deficiencies on kids these days

Trending: Kids today can't even tie their own shoelaces ...

Kids these days, what do they know? Luke Blackall on the disappearance of everyday skills

Pensioner celebrates 21st birthday

An 84-year-old woman will turn back time tomorrow as she celebrates her 21st birthday.

Nick Clegg made a party political broadcast about the Budget a month before George Osborne (pictured) will actually deliver it

Simon Kelner: Who's going to set a bad example for the kids now?

Time was when a rock star wasn't an authentic rock star unless he or she drove a pink Cadillac into a hotel swimming pool, or appeared on stage in a foul-mouthed, drunken mess or, at the very least, insisted on a rider that every pack of Smarties in the dressing room had the blue ones removed.

Happy ending for coma woman's forgotten novel

A woman who spent three months in a coma with a crippling brain illness is celebrating the publication of the debut novel she had completely forgotten that she was writing.

Coma recovery woman Alexandra Singer's book released

A woman who spent three months in a coma is due to see the debut novel she had completely forgotten she was writing appear in print.

The Langham hotel has a tea sommelier

A very good cuppa: Some of our best restaurants are embracing the afternoon tea tradition

For the French chef Raymond Blanc, the owner of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire, English afternoon tea is one of our greatest culinary achievements. "I was nervous about it at first," he says. "But I think it is one of your most elegant ceremonies. Plus it is the one time the English can be gourmandises and have pastries in the afternoon." Adding, "Also, only the English could drink that much tea and still be calm."

Arifa Akbar: The day I went for tea with Britain's public enemy No. 1

Sheikh Abu Qatada let me into his home because I was a fellow Muslim. I spoke to his wife, saying Salaam a'laikum to her from the other side of the door of their slightly shabby terraced house in Acton. A few moments later a man led me into a sitting room with the curtains firmly drawn against the street outside, which was teeming with reporters and cameramen.

Harriet Walker: 'February is the best month to detox'

If you're a normal person, and I like to think that most of our readers are (although I can vouch for a few of you not being, I must say – Man Who Once Sent Me a Lewd Cartoon, I'm looking at you here), then you've probably reached the point in the year when your good post-Christmas intentions have melted away and faded to nothing, just as the brandy butter did when you slathered it over your steaming-hot pudding all those many weeks ago.

Tea drinking becoming a mug's game

Retailers have warned that the cornerstone of British social manners, the teapot, is dying out.

Lucy Rose - When she jams, the results are definitely worth keeping

Lucy Rose sells preserves and tea at her gigs. But the lauded singer-songwriter is also bottling music, for her debut album, she tells Alexia Loundras

Q&A: What next for the Republican race?

Q: Can Gingrich keep up his momentum?

The Insider: How to get cosy

Each post on the addictive blog of designer Abigail Ahern reads like a love letter to your home. And her trademark style – in a nutshell, "elegant cocoon" – is particularly enticing on these short, chilly days when we're all too skint to go out. Here are her tips for cosying up...

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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

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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

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Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

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'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

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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

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A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
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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

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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

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Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

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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