News

Prosecution says soap star was lying when he denied sexually abusing five girls

The latest poster for 'Avengers Assemble'

Cinema: Confused? You won't be

The latest poster for superhero movie The Avengers features Iron Man, about to deliver an energy bolt (or something) to some off-camera baddie. Nearby, Captain America and Thor, God of Thunder, stare heroically into the middle distance.

The German who does a lot of good work for charity (but doesn't like to talk about it)

A hard-up vicar, a care home and a choir are among the recipients of €190,000 benefactor

Owen Farrell, England’s only kicker today, gets used to the Twickenham conditions yesterday

Farrell factor offers threat to favourites

Wales arrive at red-rose HQ in great shape but are still wary of hosts' father-and-son combination

Spectre of Thatcher still looms large over the UK

She was divisive in Downing Street, divisive at the polling booth and now, somewhat inevitably, she's proving divisive at the UK box office.

'The Iron Lady' took £2.2m in its first weekend

Box office feels force of North's loathing of the Iron Lady

New film on Margaret Thatcher has pulled in the viewers – and divided the country

Memories of Milligan, By Norma Farnes

Spike: the man, but not his work

Eastenders top of tree as BBC wins TV battle

EastEnders won its head-to-head battle with Downton Abbey as BBC1 kept with tradition by coming out on top in the Christmas Day ratings.

Comedy writer Ronnie Wolfe dies

Comedy writer Ronnie Wolfe, one of the creators of TV comedy classic On The Buses and many other sitcoms, has died at the age of 89.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Guy Ritchie, 129 mins (12A)
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Brad Bird, 132 mins (12A) (released 26 Dec)

Guy Ritchie's second Sherlock Holmes film improves on the first one in every respect.

He says: 'The way you get your script to the right people is that you put it in an envelope. It's easy. The difficult bit is writing something that is so good people will take a punt on a brand new writer.'

Steven Moffat: Storyteller in chief

As the lead writer of Doctor Who and the co-creator of Sherlock, both Christmas viewing highlights, he's now one of the BBC's most important creative talents and a powerful figure in British television

Andy Allan: ITV Director of Programmes who launched 'Morse' but axed 'Crossroads'

A television presenter-turned-executive who ran three different ITV companies, Andy Allan is destined to be remembered as the man who axed Crossroads, but he was also responsible for some of television's biggest successes. When Ted Childs, his controller of drama at Central Independent Television, and the producer Kenny McBain proposed a crime series based on Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels, with each story presented in a then unusual two-hour slot, Allan persuaded other sceptical ITV executives to accept it and the programme, starring John Thaw, ran from 1987 to 2000.

Take it as read: A different style magazine delivered every month. £58 a year, stackmagazines.com

The Fashionable Guide to Good Gifts

From statement presents to stocking fillers, our experts Gemma Hayward and Rebecca Gonsalves choose the most-wanted for women and Lee Holmes picks prize items for men

Bob Jeffrey: My Life In Media

'In this day of Tivo, we are forced to be stealthy in the way we convince people to spend time with our brands'
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes