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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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links