Outlook Champagne bonuses, Christmas cracker competitions, "Grand in your Hand" contests: welcome to the wacky world of Lloyds bank's staff incentive plans.

North Korea agrees to nuclear freeze in return for foreign aid

North Korea and the United States have taken a step back from nuclear confrontation after the reclusive Communist state agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons programme in return for foreign fuel aid.

Spartan (15)

Growing up is hard to do

Psychological Society Conference: Violent women: the five stereotypes

MOST PEOPLE have personal experience of a woman who is violent, and they accept it as a normal part of her personality, according to new research.

Television: Portrait of the artist as an old man

Last night was Jack Lemmon night on BBC2. Why?

Film Reviews: Hopkins gets even scarier than Lecter

Best of the rest

FAN FACTS: Alec Baldwin


Film: Reality bites, but movies hit home

Exposed to brutal reality at home and abroad, director Lee Tamahori's real inspiration was found at his local cinema, writes Nick Hasted



A Streetcar without much desire

Relying on the kindness of audiences: Jessica Lange fails to live up to the hype in Peter Hall's `A Streetcar Named Desire'; THEATRE

Film: Also showing/ Aspirin at the ready

HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT Jocelyn Moorhouse (15) THE CURE Peter Horton (12) TWO DEATHS Nicholas Roeg (18) THE JUROR Brian Gibson (18) LAST OF THE DOGMEN Tab Murphy (PG) PARIS WAS A WOMAN Greta Schiller (nc)

Cinema: Singular white female

With 'Short Cuts' and 'Single White Female', Jennifer Jason Leigh corne red the market in dangerous women. In her new film, she takes on Dorothy Parker . And this time she might just win an Oscar. David Thomson reports

As luck would have it

Bogey, Dudley, Whoopi and Jack might never have hit the big time if the y hadn't been second best, writes John Lyttle. And the same can be said of many of today's young stars

Video: This week's releases

The Singing Detective (15, two tapes). A quintessential Dennis Potter brew: fantasy and reality, Hollywood pulp and 1940s songs, and acute insights into the bitter psychology of disease. Michael Gambon is the failed writer stricken, like his creator, with psoriasis. It was one of Potter's dying wishes that the series should come out on video.

VIDEO / This week's releases

The Age of Innocence (U). Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel of passion and repression in the 1880s is fetishistic in its fidelity. There's no sense of what the tale tells us today. Still, it's gorgeous and technically brilliant, a buff's and a snob's delight, with quotations from Visconti to Kubrick, and exquisite etiquette animated by Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer. The Brits out-act the Yanks, the men the women. On video, you may see more of the lavish details: Scorsese shot the picture in Super 35 format, so although the sides will be closer there'll be more at the bottom of the screen.

CINEMA / It's just take, take, take

TO IMPROVE on mediocrity is a humble ambition, but still beyond the scope of The Getaway (18). Roger Donaldson's new film is a remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1972 heist movie which starred Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, and for once the catch-all term 're-make' has a baleful accuracy. Peckinpah's film has not been re-
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A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

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London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

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In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
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Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
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Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

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Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments