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Potato chips. In the 1800s in New York, a customer at a restaurant sent back French fries because they were too thick. The cook made thinner ones that the customer still thought were too thick. Exasperated, the chef made ones that were exceedingly thin to piss off the customer... who loved them.

Viagra limits are `indefensible'

THE GOVERNMENT'S original decision to restrict the availability of the anti-impotence drug Viagra on the National Health Service was "legally indefensible", the High Court was told yesterday.

Health: Viagra's fall-out

Health Check

Limit of one Viagra a week for patients

FAMILY DOCTORS will be able to prescribe Viagra on the NHS to a limited number of impotent men from July, Health Secretary Frank Dobson said yesterday. Those who qualify, slightly more than originally proposed but fewer than one in five of all impotent men, will be limited to one pill a week "reflecting research evidence on this point," he said.

Lenny Henry

Lenny Henry is a stranger to the concept of volume control - in his clothes as much as in his voice. It is no coincidence that two of his previous live shows have gone by the unambiguous titles of Loud! and Larger than Life, and that his current tour (his largest yet) is entitled Large!. On stage, he displays all the excess energy of Don Juan on Viagra. Audiences tend to get swept along by his boundless enthusiasm.

Go-ahead for Viagra on NHS

DOCTORS ARE to be given the go-ahead tomorrow to prescribe Viagra on the NHS for the first time since it was licensed eight months ago.

The delicate task of keeping obscenities off our roads

THE DVLC has apparently decreed this week that they will not let anyone have the car number plate V14 GRA. This is because whoever gets it will be able to alter the 4 to looks like a capital A, and the number plate will then read VIAGRA. Which will be naughty. And the DVLC (which stands for Dirty Vocabulary Licensing Council) doesn't think we ought to have naughtiness on the roads. Five thousand deaths a year, yes. Naughty words on number plates, no.

FLATTERY, DOGGEREL, INSPIRATION

"LAUREATE" MEANS "crowned with laurel". In ancient Greece, the victor in the Pythian games was awarded a laurel wreath. Laurel itself was believed to carry the spirit of prophecy and poetry. Subsequently, laurel wreaths were used to honour graduates in rhetoric and poetry in medieval universities.

Of worms, weapons and beautiful women

THE DIARY

My brief cyber-affair with Cutie

A couple engaged in oafish flirtation - `Hey, babe, wanna get 2gether & make sweet music?'

Viagra demand less than predicted

GOVERNMENT FORECASTS that doctors would be swamped with demands for Viagra prescriptions for recreational use rather than for impotency treatment have been challenged by research.

Design: Oh TV, I worship thee

Your sitting-room may end up looking like a small branch of Dixons, but if you're a sensorama sound freak, who cares? By Philip Kerr

Health: A Question of Health: I've lost all my sex drive

I AM delighted for all those relationships that have been helped by the arrival of Viagra. What, however, is being done for women? I am 47, and over the past five years I have gone off sex. This is having a lousy effect on a relationship which otherwise has a lot going for it. A brief course of counselling led nowhere. I have told my partner that screaming at me is no answer. I've heard that at my age this is not unusual and I could just try putting up with it. I can do that, but my partner can't. I think the cause may be hormonal. Where do I go for help and what should I ask?

Viagra Corner

Dispatches from the Frontiers of Medicine

MPs prescribed Viagra by doctor in the House

A LABOUR MP who is also a GP has been bombarded, discreetly of course, with requests from colleagues wanting to get their hands on the anti-impotence drug, Viagra.

Comedy - preview: Fascinating Aida

Musical comedy can seem a vague genre, but in the capable hands of Fascinating Aida (left, Dillie Keane, Issy Van Randwyck and Adele Anderson), it is a crafted artform, capable of pleasing fans of both music and comedy. They subvert traditional forms to make comic points; in the past, they have sung a tango about herpes simplex and a Piaf-esque ballad dedicated to the homeless. For their latest show, Barefaced Chic, they promise ditties on an eclectic range of subjects from Viagra and the genetic modification of beetroot to the fad for all things oriental and Jerry Springer.
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital