The Diarists: This week in history
Sunday 10 August 2014
13 August 1977
James Lees-Milne architectural historian and writer, then aged 69: "In a London self-photographic box by the Passport Office I had two snaps taken. They were so gruesome – I looking like a sinister undertaker, only worse – that Alvide [his wife] insisted I have others taken in Bath… I went to Woolworths in Bath today and tried again. Result just as bad, although I am rendered smirking like a sinister footpad, instead of snarling like a confidence trickster. My God, how absolutely hideous I have become. Sad really, when you think of it. As long as I keep clean. I suppose all I can do is maintain that one standard."
13 August 1979
Peter Hall National Theatre director: "Returned to London… diverted to read on the plane, in the New York Herald Tribune, that Miss Piggy of the Muppets has been banned from Iranian television during Ramadan because 'Moslems do not eat pork and consider pigs unclean'."
16 August 1922
Virginia Woolf writer: "I should be reading Ulysses and fabricating my case for and against. I have read 200 pages so far – not a third, and have been amused, stimulated, charmed, interested, by the first two or three chapters… and then puzzled, bored, irritated and disillusioned by a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples. And Tom [T S Eliot]… thinks this on a par with War and Peace! An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me, the book of a self-taught working man, and we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, insistent, raw… and ultimately nauseating. When one can have the cooked flesh, why have the raw? But I think if you are anaemic, as Tom is, there is a glory in blood. Being fairly normal myself I am soon ready for the classics again. I may revise this later. I do not compromise my critical sagacity. I plant a stick in the ground to mark page 200."
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview is finally released after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Christmas TV guide 2014: The best shows to watch from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food