Alan Partridge has had more incarnations than Barbie

Alan Partridge is back, and this time he’s restoring a lighthouse. The third volume of the Norfolk microstar’s faux autobiography is a meticulous parody of the celebrity-in-search-of-a-televisable gimmick genre, blending fan-friendly, behind-the-scenes tales of his more recent public adventures (This Time, Scissored Isle, From the Oasthouse) with a classic midlife lurch for purpose, part Griff Rhys-Jones rescuing threatened buildings, part Clarkson’s Farm. Though Steve Coogan’s id-slaying monster started out as a media satire, Alan Partridge has become a vital national mirror in which middle-aged, middle English, middleweight, middlebrow man (let us call him Homo Partridgensis) can watch himself weather and crumble. The act of restoring a suitably phallic landmark on

Move over Brighton: is Folkestone the next coastal property hotspot?

As the recent heatwave simmered on, tempura oysters were being washed down with chilled rosé on the beachfront tables at Little Rock, an offshoot of Folkestone’s Michelin starred Rocksalt restaurant. Looking from the shipping container that houses it past a handful of palm trees down the long shingle beach, a huge crane punctuated the clear blue sky above the bright white curves of the town’s biggest new development. The Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company is hoping to woo a wave of home-buyers to the Kent Channel town’s seafront, with the first phase of 1,000 new homes planned along the beach. The seaside resort and port, in the same vein

What we know about the Brazilian Covid variant

The World Health Organisation’s appeal to stop naming variants of Covid-19 after geographical locations evidently cut no ice with the Prime Minister, who warned MPs yesterday about a new Brazilian mutation of the Sars-Cov2-virus. Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance later suggested to ITV News that the changes identified in the new variant ‘might make a change to the way the immune system recognises it but we don’t know. Those experiments are underway.’ According to Pfizer last week, its vaccine still offers protection against the newly-identified Kent and South African variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus. But should we now be worrying that the Brazilian variant will creep through our defences?