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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before