Tom Sutcliffe

Tom Sutcliffe was The Independent's first Arts Editor in 1986 and is a former columnist and television reviewer

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Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi star as lifelong partners growing rancorously old together in ITV's new sitcom Vicious
Has Joe Middleton breathed his last? The Village continues to get darker and darker

TV review: The Village continues to be tough going for its audience treading an unrelentingly gloomy path

The Village, Sun, BBC1 // Young Margaret: Life, Love & Letters, Sat, BBC2

Culture secretary Maria Miller is calling for the support of arts organisations to make the 'economic case' against further cuts

If Maria Miller wants art that sells, she should focus on getting art that's good

She said the arts must make the case for themselves as a "commodity". How her audience prevented themselves from pelting her with coffee cups, I just don't know.

The eyes have it: David Tennant and Emily Watson in ‘The Politician’s Husband’
Great Bear Stakeout team in Katmai National Park, Alaska.
The Wright Way: Clive Beeches (LUKE GELL), Gerald Wright (DAVID HAIG), Malika Maha (MINA ANWAR), Bernard Stanning (TOBY LONGWORTH)

TV review - Ben Elton's The Wright Way (BBC1) is groan-inducing

 The Great British Sewing Bee, BBC2

Last night's viewing - Panorama: Secrets of Britain's Sharia Councils, BBC1; Game of Thrones, Sky Atlantic

There is a good documentary to be made about Britain's Sharia courts and the paradoxes and problems that can arise when two legal systems overlap. Unfortunately, the Panorama film The Secrets of Britain's Sharia Councils wasn't it. Jane Corbin's report turned out to be a muddled affair, fudged and unclear about the difference between a voluntary arbitration system and an institution with legally binding powers.

The Rijksmuseum from the canal

Grey matters when it comes to bringing out the best of the Dutch masters at the Rijksmuseum

Plus: New film The Gatekeepers is a gate through the granite wall and the secrecy surrounding John le Carré's latest

Maureen and classmates at Newland School For Girls Maureen Lipman

TV review: Maureen Lipman: If Memory Serves Me Right, BBC1

Brushing Up on... British Tunnels, BBC4; Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami?, BBC2

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Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?