Arts and Entertainment Alesha Dixon and fellow Britain's Got Talent judges Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden

Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon is pregnant with her first child.

Janet Street-Porter: Who can say now that mother always knows best?

What damage do you have to inflict on a child – and for how long – to be deemed an unfit mother?

Arlene Phillips : Super trouper

She has been involved with many of the biggest musicals; now, she's directing Starlight Express. But as Arlene Phillips tells James Rampton, she owes it all to Mary Whitehouse

The Critics' Awards 1998: Play - My dear, it was a perfect Bohr

Some big hitters were over from the States this year. We went from the British premiere of Lakeboat, a riveting early David Mamet at the Lyric, Hammersmith, to the British premiere of a middle-aged David Mamet in Patrick Marber's taut production of The Old Neighborhood. In it, Colin Stinton was superb as the man in a mid-life crisis, leaving his wife and dropping in on his indignant sister, played with hilarious ferocity by Zoe Wanamaker. The National discovered an early Tennessee Williams, Not About Nightingales, written in the 1930s when he was still in his twenties. Trevor Nunn's powerfully atmospheric staging demonstrated his Dickensian eye for contrasts, aided by breathtaking designs of a savage prison by Richard Hoover. The only disappointment was the latest Edward Albee at the Almeida, The Play About The Baby, a sour, puzzling reprise of themes he has explored since Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Musicals make the West End hit list

THEY HAVE starred in some of the biggest hit musicals in the West End. But this week, Gary Wilmot, Nichola McAuliffe and Peter Polycarpou will take to the stage to perform unknown songs by largely unknown writers to help find the Stephen Sondheims of the future.

LOrd Of The West End

On Wednesday, 'Whistle Down the Wind', Andrew Lloyd Webber's first all-new musical for nearly a decade, opens in the West End. Already, the critics have reviled it. And already, a loyal public has paid up pounds 3m in advance sales. Do critics and audiences never agree? Maeve Walsh trawls the archives; and (right) Michael White explains why he hates the Lloyd Webber experience

Theatre: Saturday Night's all right

EACH TIME it's something different. When Nik Cohn wrote his article for New York magazine it was a figure glimpsed standing in a doorway, a symbol of machismo, a street aristocrat. When Robert Stigwood produced the movie it was about John Travolta and the Bees Gees. Twenty-one years on, with the opening of the stage musical, Saturday Night Fever is about Arlene Phillips.

Staying alive? Barely

Saturday Night Fever

More Sunday morning than Saturday night

FIRST NIGHT: SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: LONDON PALLADIUM

Reviews: Not the first night - Derailment at Victoria? Never

Almost fourteen years after this popular show first rolled into the Apollo Theatre, Robert Hanks makes a return journey on the 'Starlight Express'

Theatre: Stage is set for a great '98

Kevin Spacey, Juliette Binoche (pictured), Harold Pinter, Tennessee Williams... and `Doctor Dolittle'. The coming theatrical year promises much

Fashion: We Wore It First]: Marion Hume and Tamsin Blanchard meet four women who remember the Seventies the first time round. What gear are they into now?

ARLENE PHILLIPS (49) was founder, dancer and choreographer of Hot Gossip. She is currently choreographing a musical due to open in the West End later this year.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment