Admit it, we're all jealous

I suspect we’re all green with jealousy.

Mary Berry took a tour around Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey, in her new series Country House Secrets

Mary Berry's Country House Secrets - It's toff at the top

The term ‘national treasure’ is much over-used these days. Take Mary Berry, for example. Before Bake-Off, she had been largely forgotten, but a stint in a pastel tent and she has now been elevated to a place at the top table alongside Nigella, Delia and Jamie.

TV and Film
Little Miss Inventor

COLUMN: Girls will not always be girls

In the latest attempt to even up the gender stakes, a new character is joining the Mr Men and Little Miss series - a female scientist.

Lisa Peynado talks about pilgrimages in this week's Have Faith.

Have Faith

​When you are reading this I will be in the Holy Land. I am on a pilgrimage with about 40 other people.
The cast of Love, Lies and Records, including Ashley Jensen (second right)

Love, Lies and Records - Love, lies and too much more

My kids used to like a book called The Busy World of Richard Scarry, in which animals dressed as humans scurried about, going to work or enjoying their leisure time, all being terribly busy and pressed for time.

TV and Film
The note left on the windscreen

Apply a little perspective

It would appear that we live in a world where we all have plenty of things to worry about, but should we take stock and try and apply a little perspective.

Black Friday looks like it's here to stay

What will come next after Black Friday?

Black Friday is just around the corner. In fact, it is next week. Black Friday is a so-called ‘Bargains Galore’ 24 hours that we imported from the States several years ago.

Winnie the pooh

COLUMN: Why are we all so horrid?

One  worrying side effect of our web generation is the increased opportunity to be perfectly horrid to each other.

Norman Lowe talks about the strength of brotherhood in this week's Have Faith column. (s)

Have Faith: Let's not worry too much about the future

With all the wars, disasters and famines, God’s world continues to be in a mess. No wonder many people are worried about what the future holds.

Nicola in her faithful car

COLUMN: Farewell my old friend

I never thought I was the sort of person who would grieve for the loss of an object that is completely unaware of my existence - as it’s a car

Emergency services must dread Bonfire Night

Idiots hurling fireworks at firefighters need to be dealt with seriously

People never cease to amaze me. Some of the time that is happy amazement as people do incredible things for incredible reasons.

I don't want to have to pay extra for vegetables

Paying for side orders really gets me annoyed

I was going to rant on this week about the mindless (perhaps that is too kind a word) idiots who pelted our fire crews with fireworks and rubbish, but my colleague Edward Lee beat me to it.
The cast of the new BBC2 sitcom Motherland, including Diane Morgan (second left) and Anna Maxwell Martin (centre)

Motherland and The Detectorists herald a good time for new comedy

Comedy seems to be stuck in a timewarp at the moment – just look at the reboot of Porridge currently clogging up BBC1, or ponder the inexplicable success of Mrs Brown’s Boys, which attracts millions of viewers despite being as funny as a poke in the eye with a stick.

TV and Film
I'm from to come from East Lancashire

Northern, and proud of it!

I had a telephone call the other day. No great surprise there then, in fact there are some days when I would be considerably better off if I got paid a fiver for every call I receive rather than the salary I receive.

Fireworks appear to have become part of our everyday life

Fireworks - I really don't get the fascination

So Hallowe’en, it would appear, is now celebrated with fireworks, judging by the preposterous number of bangs and crashes going off in recent days.

Surfing bottlenose dolphins featured in the incredible Blue Planet II on BBC1 this week.

Blue Planet II - The very best of the BBC

It has been a central part of British life for almost a century, but the BBC seems to be under attack more than ever. The right thinks it’s a hotbed of leftist luvvies, while the left sees it as an organ of state-sponsored propaganda.

TV and Film
Harvey Weinstein

COLUMN: The importance of #metoo

The phrase a ‘rolling stone gathers no moss’ seems to have been proven absolutely wrong in the past two weeks.

You're unlikely to find me dressed up this Halloween

When did we all decide to become Americans?

I have been searching encyclopedias, bashing away at internet search engines and ripping apart every reference book I can find.

A chippy tea used to be an affordable luxury

Whatever happened to the value-for-money chippy tea?

Most people, me included, have enjoyed many a ‘chippy tea’ over the years.

Jack Whitehall, Rosie Perez and Charity Wakefield in Bounty Hunters

Bounty Hunters - No laughs in this Whitehall farce

It’s often said that there’s a fine line between comedy and tragedy, Well, there’s an even finer line between comedy and comedy-drama. But what’s the difference?

TV and Film
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