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Actor took on three armed soldiers who had surrounded star and crew while they were filming later series of Extreme World 3

Smith becomes Jones as Sheridan is chosen to play Bridget on stage

Bridget Jones is returning with a vengeance. The angst-ridden and accident-prone singleton who won fame in Helen Fielding's columns in The Independent before conquering the world in a book and on screen, is about to bring her comic self-doubt and unfulfilled relationships to the West End stage.

Roddy Doyle: Family matters – and an old soul classic

Roddy Doyle is planning a stage musical of The Commitments, he tells James Mottram. But first he's revisiting another hit

Sheridan Smith to play Bridget Jones

Sheridan Smith is set to play the title role in a stage adaptation of Bridget Jones's Diary, the story of a young blonde woman with man trouble, which will debut in London next year.

West End shows still hottest tickets in town despite the big freeze

The Icelandic ash cloud, the Fifa World Cup and the worst winter in three decades could not hold audiences back from the West End last year, which continued to defy the economic climate and smash box office records.

Over the rainbow: Wizard new British musicals

Two new all-singing, all-dancing shows from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh, both inspired by films, will be staged shortly. Michael Coveney believes they and other high-profile openings will benefit from a post-Glee hunger for musical theatre

Exclusive clip: Rabbit Hole

Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart play a grieving couple in John Cameron Mitchell's new drama.

Ballet teacher sentenced for abducting boy

A ballet teacher who flouted a police order not to continue her inappropriate relationship with a talented and vulnerable 15-year-old boy dancer was handed a suspended jail term today.

Last Night's TV: Phil and Kirstie's Homes for Heroes/Channel 4<br />Toast/BBC1

Who would have thought it, eh? Location, Location, Location: 10 years old this year. Kirstie and Phil, plugging away for more than a decade. To commemorate this most momentous of anniversaries, Channel 4 decided, in characteristically understated style, to put on a whole evening of Phil and Kirstie-themed fun. Overkill? Probably. But then, what else is on in this weird interim between Christmas and New Year? First up was blooper show Kirstie and Phil's Embarrassing Bits, then a bit revisiting some of their previous guests, and then the rather more sobering Phil and Kirstie's Homes for Heroes, which saw the twosome find houses for soldiers returning from service.

Bourgeois &amp; Maurice Can't Dance, Lilian Baylis Studio, London

"I wanted to be like Billy Elliot," explains Bourgeois, widening his fabulously made-up eyes, "but more... middle class." The cabaret duo Bourgeois & Maurice are well aware that Sadler's Wells is a dance house. Having landed at the theatre for a Christmas cabaret run, they've decided to become professional dancers by osmosis.

Black Swan: Caught in the dance

Black Swan shows ballerinas as obsessive, mysterious creatures. We do the artform a disservice with this much-peddled myth, says ex-dancer Alice-Azania Jarvis

Harriet Walker: 'What a song and dance! I need to conquer my fear of musicals'

I was supposed to go to the filming of The Million Pound Drop last week, the live TV game show in which contestants answer questions to win £1m in cash by placing it on (they hope) the trap door marked with the correct answer. But I missed the show because I didn't get out of work in time. So, in order to slake the thirst of my demons who demand live entertainment wherever possible, I decided to see Billy Elliot: The Musical (inset below) instead.

Is Broadway crazy to take on Almod&#243;var?

A new stage version of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown could be a musical too far, says Sarah Hughes

Flashdance, Shaftesbury Theatre, London

A dancer's dreams come true

Lip Service, BBC3, Tuesday<br/>Wonderland: Boy Cheerleaders, BBC2, Wednesday

I'm no expert on lesbians, but these characters weren't plausible humans. For real drama, a film on boy cheerleaders dazzled
Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
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Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?