Rock’s best frenemies: Inside Rod Stewart and Elton John’s 50-year ‘war’

The bad cover was forgiven, clearly, because by the early Seventies, when Elton’s then boyfriend lived near Rod, the two young singers became so inseparable that Baldry christened them Phyllis and Sharon. They’ve called each other by those names –... Read more

Why is everyone suddenly playing the ukulele?

The ukulele was invented in Europe, but took root in Hawaii in the 1870s when an immigrant called Joao Fernandez started playing it to fascinated islanders. The reigning monarch, Kalakaua, was even said to have learnt the instrument. It became... Read more

Succession, series 3 episode 7 review: Kendall’s chaotic 40th birthday gave us Succession perfection

Warning: contains spoilers Let’s be honest: series three of Succession (Sky Atlantic) hasn’t been perfect, even if it is better than anything else on TV right now. Too many scenes with the characters confined to Waystar Royco headquarters, talking about... Read more

Winter Walks, review: Amanda Owen’s solo hike was restorative TV – if only it had a bit more peace and quiet

That rarest of sightings on BBC Four: a programme that isn’t a repeat. Winter Walks has made it onto the channel because, one suspects, it is cheap as chips to make. Give a presenter a camera on a selfie stick,... Read more

Don’t cancel holidays but accept ‘element of risk’ with omicron variant, says minister 

Britons should not cancel their holidays but must accept there is a renewed “element of risk” when travelling, the health minister has said. All new arrivals to the UK will be required to take a PCR test from 4am on... Read more

Watchdog to bite back at MPs who use Twitter for ‘unreasonable’ personal attacks

MPs who launch “excessive” personal attacks on Twitter could be investigated by Parliament’s standards watchdog under a package of measures to clean up Westminster. Under the proposed changes, MPs would face a probe if they engage in “unreasonable” attacks online,... Read more

Monday evening UK news briefing: Booster vaccine programme for all adults to fight omicron variant

It comes as two new cases of the omicron variant have been detected in London, taking the UK’s current total to 11.  Speaking in the Commons, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We expect cases to rise over the coming days.” ... Read more

London rivals abandon hope of post-Brexit City exodus

Europe’s financial centres have given up hope of triggering an exodus of companies and jobs away from London in the wake of Brexit. The head of Luxembourg’s government finance agency said relocations from the City are “basically over” with London’s... Read more

Recall Commons over Christmas so MPs can debate any extension to Covid rules, say Tories

Tory MPs have demanded that the Commons be recalled during Christmas recess if the Government wants to stretch new Covid restrictions beyond three weeks. Calls for MPs to have a say on any extension to the rules, brought in to... Read more

Omicron fightback begins among the bad boy MPs who refuse to wear masks

On Monday, head boy Sajid Javid gave a statement about the new Covid restrictions to the Commons. He said, in essence: “I don’t like ’em, but we’ve got no choice.” Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow mental health secretary, replied that... Read more

The failed Whitehall blob threatens to push Britain back into lockdown

Days before news of the omicron variant broke, the former chair of the Vaccine Taskforce, Dame Kate Bingham, paid a tearful tribute to her liberty-loving late father at an Oxford University lecture. Nineteen years earlier, at the height of the... Read more

New rift at top of Labour as Angela Rayner blindsided by Sir Keir Starmer’s reshuffle

However, as the details of the reshuffle began to emerge, her allies said she had been blindsided by the timing and detail of the announcement, which also overshadowed her delivering a key policy announcement on overhauling the regulation of ministerial... Read more

Money Makeover: ‘How do I turn my house and inheritance into a £10,000 a year travel fund?’

Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of SPI Capital, a property consultancy, said: Ms Dempsey’s goal of making £10,000 to £15,000 a year is achievable from property investments with the amounts of money she has inherited. Buy-to-lets offer consistent income and are... Read more

For sale: a £3.3m converted orangery with grounds designed by ‘Capability’ Brown

The landscape architect Lancelot “Capability” Brown got his nickname from his persistent use of a euphemism. He was known for telling his clients – a roster of lords and ladies that included none other than King George III and his... Read more

‘My horse was injured and my insurer refused to pay for a farcical reason’

When her complaint fell at the first fence with the ombudsman, she asked for a review of her complaint and sent a copy of my article as part of this request. I am delighted to say that at the second attempt... Read more

One in every 16 homes in Britain was sold in 2021

In the aftermath of the stamp duty holiday, which ended in September, the race for space among buyers has continued to shape the market.  The availability of houses for sale is currently down by more than half on the five-year... Read more

Banks sneaking restrictive T&Cs onto unsuspecting savers

Andrew Hagger, of Moneycomms, said: “Savers don’t want to have to have to delve in the T&C’s before discovering their ‘great rate’ is let down by a restriction on withdrawals or unpalatable access penalties. “Most customers just want a straightforward... Read more

Eco rules may force me to sell two thirds of my buy-to-let empire

If they are banned from renting out their properties by this rule, landlords like me will sell up, creating a crisis in the rental sector that even this buy-to-let-bashing Government wouldn’t want. Right now, he advised, is not the time... Read more

Peugeot 5008 Allure SUV vs Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer MPV – what’s the best seven-seat family car for 2021?

It’s horses for courses here, then – but the simple fact is that if you’re struggling for space in either of these cars, you probably need a van instead. SUV: 5/5MPV: 5/5 Costs Given that it’s the more aspirational car... Read more

Which makes the best family car in 2021, SUV or conventional estate?

That, combined with its smaller diameter wheels, means it’s even more comfortable than the Karoq. You get a little less road noise, too, though both of these cars are still admirably quiet.  You might expect that, as the larger, heavier... Read more

Ben Okri: I knew if I spoke the wrong language I’d be taken into the bushes and shot

Ben Okri, 62, was born in Minna, Nigeria, in 1959. Aged two, he was brought to England; his father had come to study law in London. The family returned to Nigeria when Okri was eight, and it was during this... Read more

Have you been drinking your wine from the wrong glasses all along?

Jancis Robinson x RB, £75/set of two (richardbrendon.com) The widespread use of larger wine glasses is relatively new, and often associated with a modern greed and lack of restraint. Yet when it comes to glass design and size, there are... Read more

Have you caught the ‘super cold’? Here’s how to tackle the symptoms

The tweet received more than 15,400 likes, with many people responding with their own accounts of the dreaded malady.  In the pre-pandemic world, colds weren’t something to be taken seriously; it was quite common to suffer through a day’s work... Read more

Do Mick Jagger’s SAD therapy glasses actually work?

Light therapy is still considered the gold standard for SAD sufferers, although it doesn’t work for everyone. Patients in the UK are prescribed a SAD lamp, or light boxes, an artificial light source which stimulates the retina inside our eye,... Read more

Competition, conflict and crying: Eight things men need to learn about women

Rod Stewart was in the news again last week, this time sharing his experience of the menopause. According to Rod, Penny Lancaster’s mood swings left him so worried and at a loss as to how to help that he’s now... Read more