Arts and Entertainment

Without question, the book that has most influenced my life has been Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs. I was astonished by the outrageous pot-head humour: crazy ideas taken way beyond their normal limits. The book was a savage indictment of American racism and consumerism, it dealt with the corruption, graft and lies of politicians with Swiftian humour. I had never read anything like, then or since.

DVD & Blu Ray: Magic Mike (15)

Matthew McConaughey, after his louche turn in Killer Joe, once again excels as an ageing, preening stripper in Steven Soderbergh's lightweight drama.

It's a fair cop as Hollywood does good guys a shot

End of Watch's authenticity puts it on a par with The Wire, says Kaleem Aftab
Good cop, good cop: Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play two LAPD officers, who try to do the best job they can under trying conditions

It's a fair cop as Hollywood gives good guys a shot

End of Watch's gritty authenticity puts it on a par with The Wire

'Whatever you do, just don't call me an England legend'

A century of caps, captain for club and country, but Steven Gerrard remains his own harshest critic, writes Sam Wallace

Monday book review: San Miguel, By TC Boyle

Captain Waters sinks the last $10,000 of his wife Marantha's income into a sheep farming concession on San Miguel, a tiny, uninhabited island off the Californian coast north of Los Angeles. On New Year's Day 1888, the steamer drops them on the beach along with Edith, Marantha's beautifully unruly adopted daughter. The escalating horror of both women at the punitive adversity of their new lives quickly sparks conflict with Waters's dogged idealism – bracing the first half of Boyle's absorbing narrative with a claustrophobic tension. Decades later, Herbie Lester takes up the tenancy with his not-so-young bride. They find their laughter and optimism not always easy to sustain under frontier conditions.

Suraj Sharma stars opposite a CGI tiger in Ang Lee's new film 'Life of Pi'

Heads Up: Life of Pi

Crouching tiger, Booker-winner, festive hit film?

Bean downplays Bank QE move

Charlie Bean, the deputy governor of the Bank of England and key interest rate setter, has poured cold water on the chances of an imminent expansion of the £375bn quantitative easing programme.

In Glorious Technicolor, By Francine Stock

With such a voluminous library on the history of film, is there scope for anything new? Francine Stock, who presents The Film Programme on Radio 4, has made a brave attempt in this knowledgeable book that sets a century of movies in historical context and explores their influence in an unfusty, readable way. Tackling this ambitious task, she utilises a decade-by-decade approach including a detailed exploration of 30 "films that exert a particular power".

Love after death: Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) and reanimated dog in Tim Burton's affectionate horror homage 'Frankenweenie'

Frankenweenie (PG) ***
Ginger and Rosa (12A) ***

Tim Burton's career, which seemed in tailspin with the Gothic resurrection comedy Dark Shadows earlier this year, has somehow righted itself with Frankenweenie, his most enjoyable film in ages. This too is a Gothic resurrection comedy, a monochrome stop-motion animation that revisits and extends a live-action short he made for Disney in 1984. On one level it pays affectionate homage to horror classics such as Bride of Frankenstein – Burton is an obsessive pasticheur – though more importantly it shows that he still has an instinct for a good yarn.

Tom Hanks to make Broadway debut in Lucky Guy

Hollywood actor Tom Hanks will make his debut on Broadway playing a tabloid journalist in the play Lucky Guy.

Page 3 Profile: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former actor

So why is the Governator back in the news?

Who knew that Roseanne Barr was brought up half as a Mormon, half as a Jew?

Who knew that Roseanne Barr was brought up half as a Mormon, half as a Jew? Who knew, indeed, that since she is the Peace and Freedom Party's candidate for the White House, there are in fact one and a half Mormons running for president this year?

Lord and Lady Grantham the love story: Julian Fellowes plans Downton spin-off

Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes is planning to pen a prequel to hit ITV period drama Downton Abbey centred on a younger Lord Robert and Lady Cora Grantham.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (12) Lasse Hallstrom DVD/Blu-ray (106mins)

Paul Torday’s satirical novel is more affecting and less upbeat, but Simon Beaufoy’s adaptation is single-handedly redeemed by an endearing Emily Blunt as Harriet, a well-heeled consultant who persuades Ewan McGregor’s uptight scientist in a sheikh’s loopy scheme to introduce salmon into the desert of Yemen.

Furbys passed for interactive in the days of Cool Britannia

Toys: The nineties brand going for a re-furby-shment

Remember the Furby, that squawking, animatronic toy of 1998? The one that looked like an Ewok, tweeted at its multi-coloured brethren (in the old-fashioned way) and caused thousands of children to keen at Christmas because their parents couldn't get one at Toys R Us?

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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game