What VERY saucy question flummoxed Jeremy Paxman?

Former government ministers treated with rudeness by Jeremy Paxman need not read far into his memoir to discover why the presenter had such an urge to humiliate those in authority. As early as page six he recounts how his father, a former Naval officer, 'was accustomed to chains of command, and the merest suggestion of insubordination would send him into a fury, during which he'd grab the nearest hard object with which to beat whoever had provoked him. I was thrashed with sticks, shoes, cricket stumps, cricket bats or the flat of his hand.'

Simon Garfield, author of Timekeepers, is fascinated by the way our lives are dominated by time. We never seem to have enough.

Jenni Murray's book records the lives of 21 significant women in Britain. They not only served the advance of female equality but made significant discoveries or changes.

Sam Bloom found an injured magpie. Have a look at these deeply moving photographs taken by Sam's husband, and see how a feathered friend touched the lives of a whole family.

The Secret Library is the first Christmas book Markus Berkman has bought this year but, he says, 'it's a cracker.' Author Oliver Tearle seeks to answer questions you hadn't even thought to ask.

Why the first SAS soldiers were mad, bad - and VERY dangerous to know

Ben Macintyre's book is the first ever fully authorised history of the SAS, covering its secret activities in World War II. Macintyre had access to a confidential, 500-page 'war diary' compiled by the regiment's archivists. It was a gold mine of first-hand reports from those who took part in one clandestine operation after another, from the regiment's formation in 1941 until 1945. A master at setting the pulse racing, Macintyre relates stories of raw courage and daring by extraordinary men whose chief characteristic was that they defied every convention.

Anne Cholawo was 27 when she bought a simple, stone house for £28,000 in the Isle of Soay, where she learned to sail, splice rope and nearly drowned on one terrifying occasion.

For 16 years, Rose was married to the artist Roger Hilton. He was 20 years older than her and, despite the fact she was a budding artist in her own right, she subsumed herself to his genius.

Fashion photographer Gleb Derujinsky's magnificent volume features his trademark images of beautiful models, from Iris Bianchi to Carmen Dell'Orefice.

Mary Roach's Grunt is about the curious science of humans at war, and it's droll, often deeply strange and sometimes rather disturbing.

Tim Marshall's tour of the world's flags, their histories and meanings, is a sobering lesson in just how silly we human beings can get.

From Marlene Dietrich's gowns in Hitchcock's Stage Fright, to the towering stilettos in Sex And The City, the film stills, sketches are a brilliant exploration of cinema's most glamorous garments.

The loves and lust of lonely Mrs Amis: Elizabeth Jane Howard’s affairs with married men

Kingsley Amis, who was married to her from 1965 until 1983, ended up absolutely hating Elizabeth Jane Howard (pictured). Amis was particularly aggrieved by her 'automatic assumption of the role of the injured party in any clash of wills', by her 'bottomless pit of neediness', and the theatrical way she had of unpinning her hair and slowly tossing it about.

Look through the lens of Inge Morath, one of the finest photojournalists of a generation, and the last wife of Arthur Miller. Her shots have captured the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Gloria Vanderbilt.

Influenza kills between 250,000 and 500,000 people worldwide every year. The virus travels efficiently via large airborne droplets, when infected people sneeze, cough or talk.

From Carla Bruni to Dior, this well-researched book makes you feel as learned as Vivienne Westwood, as it details 150 years of fashion.

After comedian Tommy Cooper died journalist John McEntee charmed his way into his widow's home, where he sat with her for two or three hours, the account of which is revealed in his memoir.

Le Carre's autobiography is puzzling, as his real life is off limits. He discusses his relationship problems with his mother. Despite the lack of revelations about his spying days, it's a good read.

When the War ended in 1945 there were plenty of people who assumed that the codebreakers had had their day, but as Sinclair McKay reveals, quite the reverse proved to be the case.

Brave boys the fat man branded liars: How Cyril Smith's victims were ignored when they

All this week, Labour MP Simon Danczuk is laying bare how the Establishment, the Liberal Party, the police and even MI5 covered up the industrial-scale child abuse of 29-stone Rochdale MP Cyril Smith. Today, how his victims were ignored and betrayed when they tried to expose their suffering.

Different life: Vicky Pryce is seen chatting with inmates and a prison officer at East Sutton Park Prison, which she describes at a 'real joy' after serving four days at Holloway

In the finale of her unique inside story, Vicky Pryce, the wife of disgraced ex-minister Chris Huhne, describes life at open prison East Sutton Park.

Mary Berry - photoshoot for one of her first cookery book with helpers Annabel and William.

In the second extract from her autobiography, published exclusively in the Mail today, Mary Berry describes the sudden death of the son she doted on, pictured left.

Eric and Ernie were together virtually all day every day because of work; so when they became successful, they had an unspoken agreement that they wouldn't socialise with one another

In his compelling new biography, Gary Morecambe talks about his father's relationship with Ernie Wise and how he continued to make them laugh even up until the end.


In an extract from his explosive memoirs, Power Trip, Damian McBride reveals how the former Chancellor survived by the skin of his teeth after credit crunch bungle.