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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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing