Met Office issues alert amid longest hot spell for seven years
Former head of Ofwat lambasts privatised firms for paying excessive dividends
UK's largest water company received £5m Treasury rebate
Burst water main causes disruption on one of Britain's busiest shopping streets
The hosepipe ban has put certain water firms under such pressure that at least one is considering deals with other companies across the country.
Not much happens in Manton, a tiny village in the Wiltshire countryside. Its residents enthuse about horse-racing – after all, some of Britain's best stallions are housed in stables there. The villagers also enjoy gardening. The place is full of greenery and, on a cold afternoon yesterday, some homeowners were admiring the fruits of their labour.
With hosepipes banned in some areas, a lack of water could impact us all. By Charlie Cooper
There may be blizzards in the north, but much of the UK is so gripped by drought that, from today, millions of people will be subject to draconian restrictions on their use of water
John Howard Davies would still have had a minor place in entertainment history through his affecting performance as the protagonist of David Lean's film of Oliver Twist (1948). But his reputation rests on having produced and directed some of the most acclaimed examples of BBC television comedy. Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, The Good Life, Steptoe and Son and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin all prospered under the air of quiet calm that he exuded, in an often frenetic industry. His frequently stated guideline was, simply, "It's got to be funny."
The Old Bailey jury trying Levi Bellfield for the abduction and murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler has retired to consider its verdicts.
The prosecution case that double killer Levi Bellfield abducted and killed schoolgirl Milly Dowler is "pure fantasy", the Old Bailey was told today.
Milly Dowler's father was one of 54 suspects investigated by police following her murder, the Old Bailey heard today.
A family of badgers – two adults and three young – visit my garden. I've taken pictures, but they are so shy they disappear at the slightest sound. The female is the one with the mottled nose. When badgers fight, they often grab their opponent's nose and bite. The pinkish colouring is scar tissue from battles.
Fifty years ago, it was biologically dead. In 2010, the Thames is in rude health. It's a transformation with huge implications, says Alice-Azania Jarvis
Set at the top of a grassy bank, The Runnymede makes best use of its riverside setting with a collection of boats to pootle along the water, bags of bread for duck-feeding, and two restaurants that open onto the riverbank. Many of the rooms overlook the tree-lined river and Bell Weir lock gates; additional watery vistas can be enjoyed in the shiny new spa with its pool and whirlpool bath. And when the weather turns, there's a cosy lounge to hole up in, too.
Enough fat to fill nine double-decker buses is being removed from sewers under London's Leicester Square.