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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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor