Toy-maker bids to take over West Coast line

The traditional civil servant, with his bowler hat and rolled umbrella, might not have seen the joke.

Thomas the Tank Engine

From 'Thomas the Tank Engine' to 'King of the Railway': Mattel plans global push for franchise

Marketing push will see a range of new toys created and the release of a one-hour film as it attempts to make inroads in Asia and Latin America

The Mouse and his Child, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

This is a brave and ambitious choice for an RSC family Christmas show.

The people of Newtown face Christmas after the tragedy

In Newtown, tragedy tinges holiday tradition

The night Andrei Nikitchyuk came home after 20 young students had been killed at his son's school, he pulled out the family's Christmas tree.

Andrew Mitchell: The former chief whip wants an inquiry into allegations that police fabricated evidence

Monday diary: Has Jon Gaunt loved the Police Federation to death?

This PR maestro, hired to advise the police over Plebgate, has questions to answer

Paragon gets its teeth into horror

Dracula, Frankenstein and the Mummy in all their Hammer House of Horror glory are set to be the stars of a themed attraction venue in central London.

The Insider: Last-minute gift inspiration

You don't need to spend a fortune on a present from a glossy design store to satisfy your interiors-mad friends…

Warhammer to get Total War treatment as license passes to Creative Assembly?

Sega and Creative Assembly announce partnership with Games Workshop

Hamleys proves its worth to the French as profits leap to £2.3m

Hamleys has shown why a French company paid £60m in September for the Regent Street-based toy chain by posting a huge leap in profits.

Full stream ahead as Netflix and Disney give a vision of the future

Multi-year deal will see online movie provider become exclusive US subscription service for the legendary studio. By Tim Walker

Character blames Zhu Zhu Pets for profit fall

Character Group, the maker of Peppa Pig toys, has blamed unloved Zhu Zhu hamsters for a sharp fall in annual profits, as it warned of a "disappointing" Christmas.

How Marty made a mouse roar

The RSC has drawn inspiration from Scorsese's Goodfellas for its setting of a cult children's classic. Arifa Akbar looks forward to a real Christmas drama

Last night's viewing - The Dark Ages: an Age of Light, BBC4; Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, BBC4

For a while now, Dan Cruickshank has been television's paramount Reverential Whisperer, his voice dropping series by series until it has become a rasping shadow of its original form. He does have some competition, though, if the first episode of Waldemar Januszczak's new series The Dark Ages: an Age of Light is anything to go by.

Fourteen disabled people die in fire at German workshop

Police said that the victims died from burns and smoke inhalation in the blaze

Breastfeeding dolls for little girls? They're both creepy and sexist

Little girls don't need to "learn how to breastfeed" any more than little boys do. They're far too busy playing

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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 15 May 2015
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate