Arts and Entertainment

Jumbo the elephant was a Victorian sensation, who between his birth in modern-day Eritrea and alcoholic death in the American circus of the incorrigible showman PT Barnum was the star attraction at London Zoo.

'Megaphone Man' Danny Shine is fighting the charge of 'causing annoyance'

Silenced - the man who spoke out too loudly: Danny Shine’s megaphone voice has been branded an ‘annoyance’ – but is it illegal?

When performance artist Danny Shine decided to address shoppers in London’s Oxford Circus on the follies of consumerism with the aid of a megaphone, he saw it as a public service. Unfortunately for him, a passing Westminster City Council street warden begged to differ.

In a new film, the renowned physicist tells of how in 1985 he thought contracting pneumonia would stop him from completing the book which went on to sell 10 million copies, the Sunday Times reported.
Sacha Baron Cohen (left) was due to play Freddie Mercury (right) in a film of his life

I want to break free: Sacha Baron Cohen exits Freddie Mercury biopic over 'creative differences' with Queen

Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen is reported to have quit playing the lead in an impending Freddie Mercury biopic due to a disagreement with the remaining members of Queen.

The 'Not the Nine O'Clock News's team (left to right), Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, and Griff Rhys Jones carrying Pamela Stephenson in 1980

Mel Smith, the man who made me howl with laughter

As so many people have said, Mel Smith, who has died at the age of 60, was a comedy giant. And his talent was evident – obvious – when I first saw him 40 years ago. I was then trying to make my way in comedy at Cambridge, and he, then president of the slightly loftier Oxford University Dramatic Society, had agreed to take part, rather to amuse himself, I suspect. He was by a mile the best thing in it. Clever, and very, very funny, as he always was subsequently.

The Harry Potter creator authored another book under a man's name - and it has now become a bestseller

The Cuckoo’s Calling, by 'Robert Galbraith': JK Rowling's secret bestseller

Crime novel won universal praise from critics when it came out in April

Mike Figgis: 'I'm taking a deep breath before committing to the Dostoevsky biography'

Cultural life: Mike Figgis, film director

'I'm taking a deep breath before committing to the Dostoevsky biography'

The Conversation: Daisy Donovan, TV presenter

You've been around the world appearing on crazy TV shows for a new Channel 4 series. You must have seen some sights.

Time-bound: Christopher Purves as Walt Disney in ‘The Perfect American’

Opera review: The Perfect American, Coliseum, London

This is less an opera than a failed attempt at Citizen Kane

Video: DVD and Blu-Ray releases

See below to watch the trailers for this week's DVD and Blu-Ray releases

Cooking the books: Ginger Pig Farmhouse Cookbook

When is a butcher not  a butcher? When it’s “a cult-like phenomenon” in the Ginger Pig’s case: not my words, but those of Tom Parker Bowles on the back  of this week’s book.

Padgett Powell

Paperback review: You & I, By Padgett Powell

Godot misses another appointment

James Hunt in his prime in 1976

James Lawton: The James Hunt I knew is the subject of a new F1 movie

British driver was fascinating man whose epic duel with Niki Lauda in 1976 was typical of an era of glamour and glory – but also the ever-present threat of death

The Weekend's Viewing: Melancholy Isaacs prevents a case of cosiness

Case Histories, Sun, BBC1 / Sincerely, F Scott Fitzgerald: a Culture Show Special, Sat, BBC2

Review: CS Lewis, A Life, By Alistair Mcgrath

More light on the man inside the wardrobe

Anna Friel, Steve Coogan, Tamsin Egerton and Chris Addison arriving at the UK premiere of The Look of Love at the Curzon Soho, London.

'Someone had to do it' - Steve Coogan admits to strip club research for The Look Of Love

Steve Coogan tonight admitted he visited a lot of strip clubs to research his latest role as porn baron Paul Raymond.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project