Outlook WH Smith's Stephen Clarke, like Kate Swann before him, is to be commended. For if ever there was a high street chain that should exist no more, it was this.

Hamleys dumps chief executive

HAMLEYS, the toy retailer, yesterday announced the departure of its chief executive after a disappointing financial performance and a series of rumours that the company might be seeking a replacement.

Home shopping service expands

OPEN, the former British Interactive Broadcasting, announced that WH Smith, the high street retailer, Manchester United football club, and the travel agency Going Places are to join its new entertainment and home shopping service to be launched this autumn.

WH Smith optimistic despite profits fall

WH SMITH yesterday reported a fall in first-half profits but cushioned the blow with upbeat comments about prospects for the core high street brand and its fledgling Internet service.

WH Smith launches net service

WH SMITH has become the latest company to join the ranks of free Internet access providers with the launch of WHSmith Online, writes Nigel Cope.

The mission It's not how you play the game, it's the winning that counts. Matthew Sweet sets his sights on the star prize

Luck be a lady tonight - and, while you're at it a wheelbarrow full of cash would be nice

What Does It Take To Win A Literary Prize?: 250 Book Prizes - and still counting

THERE IS about to be a new literary prize. That fact alone will guarantee the pounds 30,000 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction a place in a key literary work.

Beware of jumping on the Internet bandwagon

Marking up shares just because a company launches an Internet project is pushing it

Outlook: Internet mania

THE MERE mention of the "I" word seems to be enough these days to rejuvenate a sagging share price. Judging by the effect on dear old WH Smith yesterday, more should try it. Its more than woolly announcement about teaming up with BT and Microsoft to launch another "free" Internet service provider was sufficient to propel the share price 11.4 per cent higher. Since Dixons launched Freeserve last September, the Dixons share price has more than doubled.

WH Smith joins free Net battleground

WH SMITH yesterday jumped on the Internet bandwagon when it unveiled plans to launch a free Internet service and set up a website in conjunction with British Telecom and the Microsoft Network.

Comment: Poets win lots of prizes. But it isn't enough

When Ted Hughes died, there was a flurry of interest in his likely successor as poet laureate. Newspapers published lists of runners and riders; bookmakers quoted odds (Derek Walcott 4-1, Wendy Cope 5-2, Carol Ann Duffy 7-2, Andrew Motion 6-1); diarists recorded the reactions of the candidates. Since then, well, no one could say that we are awaiting the appointment with bated breath. The whole idea of official poetry seems anachronistic; modern verse seems like a private matter.

Letter: Posh talk in the Vic


Triumphant Bainbridge enunciates her mind

THE NOVELIST Beryl Bainbridge won a major literary prize yesterday and followed it with musings that are unlikely to be beaten for political incorrectness in the whole of the prize-giving season.

MFI chief quits after profit alert

MFI, the struggling flat-pack furniture group, was facing a fresh crisis yesterday after it issued another profits warning and replaced its chief executive.

Why do they all love Marcel?

Proust is definitely flavour of the month, hardly a week goes by without a new biography

Investment: WH Smith comeback hangs on its Net play

WH SMITH continued its recovery yesterday with a solid, if unspectacular Christmas trading statement that pushed the shares up 7.5p to 597.5p.
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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
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Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

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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
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
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
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

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Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

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