Arts and Entertainment

Nina Stibbe moved to London in 1982 to work as a nanny for Mary-Kay Wilmers, the editor of the London Review of Books. In the years following, she wrote letters home to her sister in Leicester, and Love, Nina is the result.

TV's classic shows are missing

DENNIS POTTER, Alan Bennett and The Beatles have all been victims of gross acts of carelessness. Classic television programmes featuring them and other famous names of the Fifties and Sixties are still missing after a six-year search.

Small screen: Novel programming

We all have a novel in us. Anyway, that's the view of the author, Nigel Williams, who presents The Write Stuff, a new three-part BBC2 series on the art of novel writing. "Everyone has the ability to tell stories," he argues. "Look at News At Ten. You get fantastic storytelling from eye-witnesses with wonderful natural eloquence. You even see it on Beadle's About." Surely not.

Theatre Review: Flushed with success

New European Writers

The Critics: The reason Miss America came on earth

Four women today, none quite what she seems. First on the catwalk is Miss America 1958: let's hear it for her! Eighty million people watch, awestruck, as this blue-eyed blonde is crowned. From now on, the compere proclaims, her address will be Main Street USA. But this girl, Marilyn Van Derbur, is Not Just a Pretty Face (R4); oh no, she has a beauty that makes all the other girls seem drab - so let's see the rest of her wholesome family. On come her three lovely sisters, her proud momma gushing about this coronation being every mother's dream, her father saying she's bin a lovely gal all her life ...

THEATRE Marat / Sade Olivier, RNT, London

To join The Caucasian Chalk Circle in this first in-the-round season in the Olivier, the National Theatre has chosen another work that predominantly exists as a play-within-a-play. The heightened sense you get of being voyeurs when seated round a dramatic action in a self-aware ring should be of particular benefit to a staging of the Marat / Sade. Set in an asylum in 1808, it makes you privy to a performance, put on by the inmates, of a play about the historical events leading up to the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat.

That nice Alan Bennett takes the gloves off for Tory politicians, the Queen Mother - and Dennis Potter

The writer and his victims: Home truths for six leading lights in politics, literature and the arts

What, no Aunt Agatha?

Andrew Lloyd Webber meets Alan Ayckbourn in the all-new Stephen Joseph Theatre. The result: somewhat less than top hole. By Paul Taylor

A close shave with genius


LETTER: Quality television direct from the West End

From Mr David Aukin

Silver daggers vs the kitchen knifers

Robert Richardson gives an insider's view of dissent among the crime writers


A MESSY HAMPSTEAD living-room in the early hours of a mid-Eighties morning. Stacks of hippie records and yellowing newspapers line the walls. Cigarette ash is scattered on the stained shag pile. The television blinks. Peter Cook sits tired-eyed on a G-Plan sofa with his back to a floor-to- ceiling mural of an autumn forest. His friend and neighbour George Weiss, whose house this is, sits opposite him, smoking a joint and tugging at his straggly grey beard. A reel-to-reel tape-recorder in an alcove across the room turns as they talk. There is a knock on the door. Weiss goes to answer it, returning with a local tramp called Bronco John. He is wet - rain falls heavily outside in the mews - and carrying his habitual teabags. He is breathless and excited.

Take a ride through suburbia

Jason Cowley finds forgiveness and reconciliation in an English dormitory town


Bennett, Leeds, Barrie Rutter, luvvies and loves, dialogue and dialect, Bennett again: the stage is set for Blake Morrison's theatrical dbut. This is his production diary

They're all making plans for Nigel

The years as unflappable Sir Humphrey are standing Nigel Hawthorne in good stead now: he's staying cool as Hollywood heats up with rumours of Oscar nominations and imminent stardom ...

Ring, ring. Will you let Poet Pete in?

If the people won't buy poetry from bookshops, why not take the fruits of your labour to them. Jim White meets the man injecting a little lyricism into London's streets
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John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most