Christmas at Cilla Black’s magnificent red-brick mansion was always a bustling, rumbustious family affair in which the much-loved entertainer (main) would get up at dawn and don her festive apron to prepare a traditional turkey feast before collapsing in front of the television. But this year will be a much quieter celebration for her sons Robert (top right and bottom right, as a child), Ben and Jack, who are spending their first Christmas away from The Grove, the ten-bedroom home where they grew up and where their mother held court. Cilla, who died suddenly after a fall at her Spanish villa in 2015 aged 72, may have travelled a long way from her early days in a flat above a barber’s shop in Liverpool, but her homely, traditional childhood always remained in her heart. Every December she would decorate the house in Denham, Buckinghamshire (inset), to within an inch of its life. For her, Christmas Day was living proof that all her hard work had been worthwhile.
Mother wins sex bias battle against 'dishonest' law firm that sacked her on maternity leave then shredded the evidence
Bina Hale (pictured), 36, has won a discrimination case against global law firm Dentons at an employment tribunal in Bury St Edmunds. She was selected for redundancy while she was on maternity leave then told on her first day back to work last December. The judge blasted the company for dishonesty when providing evidence for the case. Line manager Emma Rowe provided a single piece of white paper she claimed she made notes from a meeting where Mrs Hale was chosen for redundancy but the court was told the pages of her notebook were actually brown.
The Nutcracker ballet dancers detail the secret AGONY behind the beloved holiday performance - which includes their 'marathon of pain, injury, illness, boredom and incontinent children'
Dancers of the decades-old Nutcracker ballet are not just talented in choreography - but top grade acting. With grace and gratitude, the ballet dancers have described some of the most daunting details about their day-to-day job. Aside from getting the wonderful opportunity to work while doing what they love, the poised performers live in constant fear of the unknown on and offstage, a dance critic report for The Washington Post explains.
Sealed with a kiss: How Kate Maltby continued to send Damian Green friendly texts AFTER reporting him to Number 10 for touching her knee in a bar
The row over Damian Green’s sacking erupted again last night after leaked messages sent by the woman who accused him of misconduct showed that she was sending him friendly texts (pictured, inset) just weeks before pulling the trigger on his career. Kate Maltby’s claim that she had felt ‘angry’ and ‘professionally compromised’ after Mr Green (pictured, right) touched her knee in a bar led to a Cabinet Office inquiry into the Minister, which widened into claims that he had downloaded pornography on his Commons computer. He was fired by Mrs May last week after the inquiry concluded that he had made misleading remarks about whether he knew about the pornography allegations. It did not come to a conclusion about his behaviour towards Ms Maltby, 31.
Surrender! 'Lunacy' as British Army spends £2million to ditch elitest 'Be the Best' motto - but Defence Secretary dramatically steps in to put PC plans on hold
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson (pictured left) dramatically intervened last night after The Mail on Sunday revealed that the British Army was ‘wasting’ millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to scrap its famous ‘Be the Best’ motto – because top brass say it is elitist. The project is the brainchild of General Sir Nick Carter (pictured right). His team also wrote the document The Army Brand, which was circulated among senior officers last month. It attempts to justify the removal of the Be the Best slogan from all Army documentation and imagery, saying: ‘Be the Best was a recruitment strapline from 1993 and has appeared on Army branded material ever since. But it was never a researched or defined brand.
British family cheat death after their plane crashed in a Mexican jungle on their way to visit Mayan ruins
City advisory firm manager William Carpmael, 46, his wife Anna, 48 (top right walking away from the crash), and their two children, Emily, 15, and George, 14, were on their way to visit the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza when their light aircraft began to lose altitude. It came down in a remote area of dense vegetation (left and bottom right), around 10 miles from the nearest main road. Dramatic local TV pictures showed the Mexican pilot, named locally as Francisco Alan Rodriguez, covered in blood with a bandage round his head. But the passengers, all from London, were filmed walking away with no apparent injuries after rescuers reached them following a tense three-hour search.
'My gut said to get him out of my life - I wish I'd listened': F1 hero's ex-wife dubbed 'Lady Chatterley' spent SEVEN YEARS in legal wrangle with abusive toyboy lover after he tried to get his hands on her £9.5m fortune using archaic cohabiting laws
Daphne McKinley's handyman lover tried to sue her for a sizeable chunk of her £9.5million fortune by arguing they had lived together as man and wife in her home in Buckinghamshire. He cited Bulgari and Irish Claddagh rings he had bought as signs of their commitment. But perhaps the most galling thing was Jason’s insistence that he had been instrumental in setting up Daphne’s property business. ‘Why would I give 50 per cent of my company to somebody who had no skills, no money and was lazy?’ Daphne asks.Jason lost the case and was ordered to pay Daphne’s costs but she received no compensation. And by the time his appeal was dismissed earlier this month, Daphne had run up legal bills of £150,000 – money that could have educated both of her grandchildren.
'He would have loved hearing how much he was loved': Bereft wife of Gogglebox favourite Leon thanks viewers for 'wonderful' tributes as her husband dies aged 83
Gogglebox legend Leon Bernicoff's bereft wife tonight thanked viewers for their messages of support, adding that 'Leon would have loved reading them'. Tributes poured in for the the star, 83, who passed away yesterday in hospital following a short illness. They included messages of support from fellow stars of the hit Channel 4 show — including television personality Scarlett Moffatt, who said Leon was 'loved by so many'. Leon's widow, June, tonight took to Twitter to thank viewers for their countless messages of support.
'Has anyone seen my little bag of snow?' What Shameless star Tina Malone asked fellow pantomime cast members as she was 'led away in handcuffs' for possessing cocaine
Actress Tina Malone was dramatically arrested last night after appearing on stage during a pantomime in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria after police received a tip-off the Shameless star had been taking cocaine. Ms Malone, pictured on stage yesterday, right, went to McDonald's between her two shows yesterday, left, ahead of her arrest.
'Madrid has received a slap in the face from Catalonia': Exiled leader hails victory for separatists in snap poll and says he must now be allowed to return after Spanish government's decision to call election backfires
Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont claimed victory for the separatist movement after pro-independence parties claims a majority in elections called after he was pushed from power. With 99 per cent of votes counted secessionists looked set to claim 70 seats, giving them a majority of two, though two less than they previously held. Meanwhile unionists looked set to claim 65. Mr Puigdemont described the vote as a 'slap' to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose own party returned its worst ever result in the region, with just four seats.
The horrific moment 'ice-addict' Afghan refugee 'ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians' injuring 19 - as police say he complained about Australia's 'poor treatment of Muslims' after arrest
An Afghan refugee ice addict accused of 'deliberately' ploughing through a crowd of shoppers in Melbourne's city centre has blamed the horrific attack on Australia's 'poor treatment of Muslims'. It comes as horrific CCTV footage, obtained by 7 News, captures the exact moment a white Suzuki SUV pulls away from traffic and speeds into unsuspecting pedestrians outside busy Flinders Street Station on Thursday afternoon. Shocked bystanders can be seen pointing in disbelief on the street as dozens of people - including a four-year-old boy and an 83-year-old man - are mowed down by the rampaging driver. The driver behind the wheel of the SUV, with P-plates, has been identified by the The Herald Sun as Saeed Noori.
Dozens killed in sauna inferno: Man jumps from a window to escape as blaze spreads through eight-storey building in South Korea
The blaze spread through the eight-storey building in the central South Korean city of Jecheon after a car caught fire in the basement. Authorities say 29 were killed and 26 others are injured after the sports centre and public bath went up in flames. Dramatic images show people calling for help and flames shooting from the top of the building. One man jumped from a window (left and top right) to escape the inferno and plunged down onto an air mattress put in place by fire crews.
The 'most humane' maximum security prison in the world: Danish jail is designed to look like a college to teach prisoners to change their ways
Newly opened Storstrøm Prison (left) - near the town of Gundslev in Denmark - has been created to feel like a university campus, with a minimalist Scandinavian look modelled on a traditional Danish village. Costing over £100million and taking five years to build, Storstrøm can hold 250 prisoners in its 40 square foot cells (right), which come with a fridge, 22-inch TV, large window and wardrobe. Inmates get a comfortable bed, desk with reading lamp, private bathroom (inset right) and a share in communal kitchens where they can make their own food (inset left).
Astonishing moment armed robbers open fire on security guards before making off with nearly £200,000 in a 20-second film-style heist
The eight men fired more than 30 shots (left) at their victims using weapons including a machine gun in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo. The gang members, who were all masked apart from one who posed as a supermarket shopper (bottom right) to tip off his accomplices, then escaped with their haul of £200,000 after a raid lasting just 20 seconds. A guard with the cash tried to make a run for it (top right) when the criminals jumped out of two vehicles parked near the Prosegur van and began shooting indiscriminately.