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The striker refused to play for Stoke after texting manager Mark Hughes

Christian O'Connell vamps impressively in <i>Man on Wireless</i>

Man on Wireless, Absolute Radio, Monday
Just a Minute - in India, Radio 4, Monday

No script, no music, no safety net ... just throw Christian to the lions

Bel Ami (15)

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci

Academy says Baron Cohen can go to the ball as long as he behaves

Sacha Baron Cohen is threatening to hijack the glitziest film show on earth before it has begun, as his latest comedy creation warned of "unimaginable consequences" if the organisers of the Oscars banned him from the ceremony.

Hot wheels: Nicolas Cage, possibly over-revving, in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

The Woman In The Fifth, Pawel Pawlikowski, 83 mins (15)
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, 95 mins (12A)

Pick your male fantasy: Writer in Paris pursued by women, or a dead man biking

Tomas Alfredson: 'I was bought up on film sets; my own kids think they're boring'

As a child, film meant the possibility of being closer to my father He had been making films since before I was born, so I was brought up on different film sets and I learnt a lot about the process that has been useful to me as a director. But at the time it was mainly something I knew I could talk to him about.

Depardieu cast in role of Strauss-Kahn in new biopic

Gerard Depardieu is to play Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a Hollywood biopic about the scandal that destroyed the economist's hopes of winning the French presidency.

DVD: Perfect Sense, For retail & rental (Entertainment One)

Perfect Sense features yet another of the global pandemics which seem to obsess today's film-makers, but it's less an apocalyptic disaster movie than a haunting indie fable about two people, Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, learning to accept true love.

Stan Lee: 'Each day when I come to work, it's a new exciting day'

Stan Lee: Creator of the Hulk and Spider-Man is a £4bn Marvel

Even at 89, the man behind the phenomenally successful comic book and film franchises isn't slowing down – and, in a rare interview, he says he can't wait to meet his fans in London later this month

Bias claim by Fox News gets the Miss Piggy treatment

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have rejected claims that their new film, The Muppets, pushes a communist political agenda.

Dewald Aukema’s icy images in The Nine Muses could embody an immigrant’s view of Britain as a place of cold exile

The Nine Muses, John Akomfrah, 92 mins (PG)

A haunting odyssey on immigration could have been among the last of its kind – but a funding review may well bring a reprieve for 'arty' movies

Something about Mary

As Mary Nighy makes her directing debut in the West End, she tells Arifa Akbar why the theatre is a good place for women right now
Family business: Mary Nighy, the director of 'Shallow Slumber'

There's something about Mary Nighy

As Mary Nighy, the daughter of two celebrated British actors, makes her directing debut in the West End, she explains why the theatre's a good place for women now

Philip Hensher: Try avoiding hackneyed 'Hockney' response

W hat's the world's greatest film? Citizen Kane. Greatest painting? The Mona Lisa. The greatest symphony? Beethoven's ninth. The greatest novel? War and Peace. Of course. What isn't quite so generally agreed is Top Living Exponent – or at any rate, it tends to change from time to time. By the time Lucian Freud died, it was generally agreed that he occupied the place of Top Living British Painter. The jockeying for position after a great man's death is not a noisy or ruthless affair – not like the lobbying for position which follows a political death. But the question starts to arise, nevertheless. In the New Year, David Hockney was awarded the Order of Merit – the grandest of honours, a step up from the Companion of Honour he has had for 14 years. That is timed to precede the most conspicuous of seals of fame, an enormous survey of his recent work at the Royal Academy, over which he has evidently had almost total control. Ten years ago, there might have been half a dozen plausible names competing for the honour of being the answer to the question: "Who's the best living British artist?" Now, the quest seems to be over for now; the answer: Hockney. The search for and subsequent assertion of Top Thing in an art form is an arid and discouraging affair, I must say. Stravinsky disliked the word "genius" with its responses: "Leonardo" and "Beethoven". The reason that such answers arise is that not all of us have sufficient time to devote to the arts. We don't want to waste our time with artists who are pretty good, with novels which have a terrific chapter now and again. The flawed masterpiece, or the flawed master, is one which is taking up our time. If we are going to find a work of art to fill a spare hour, it had better be something agreed to be the best. The value of art is not like the result of a sporting competition – it is only what is agreed on when thousands of critical judgements collide. Hockney is a fascinating but very quirky artist. Some will find his RA show horrible to look at and resent the recommendation which comes from him being considered Top Brit. And that may be as legitimate a judgement as the award of an OM. Nobody knows which has more truth to it.

Tim Walker: A suitable case for treatment?

It's odd that all the self-proclaimed sex addicts we hear about seem to be good-looking male celebrities
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
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