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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The Independent around the web
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

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there