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.

Selfridge around 1915

Harry Gordon Selfridge: West End Lothario or mother's boy?

A new TV drama portrays Selfridges' founder as a womaniser and gambler. An old memoir tells a different story

Look happy: Imogen Poots is appearing in some of the most highly anticipated films of the year

Imogen Poots: The face you won't be able to miss this year

From biopics of Paul Raymond and Jeff Buckley to a Nick Hornby rom-com, Imogen Poots has a busy 2013 ahead, she tells Kaleem Aftab

Diary Of A Call Girl actress Billie Piper 'was mistaken for a real prostitute'

Actress Billie Piper has revealed she was mistaken for a real-life prostitute after a stint playing one for a TV role.

The 87-year-old former prime minister is expected to spend Christmas in hospital, after being operated on three days ago to remove a growth from her bladder after suffering pain earlier in the week.

Baroness Thatcher 'recovering' after minor surgery to remove bladder growths

Baroness Thatcher remained in hospital today as she recovered from minor surgery.

Baroness Thatcher to spend Christmas in hospital

Baroness Thatcher is said to be “in good spirits” as she recovers from minor surgery but is expected to spend Christmas in hospital.

Unsex them now: Harriet Walter (top right) in rehearsals for the all-female 'Julius Caesar'

One thing's for sure: the judges of this Booker rival won't be lost for words...

Plus; the case for gender-blind casting and a flashback to the young Alfred Molina

IoS paperback review: Charles Dickens: A Life, By Claire Tomalin

In his centenary year, Dickens was brought to brilliant life by Claire Tomalin in this book.

Fyodor Khitruk: Acclaimed Soviet animator

Fyodor Khitruk, who died on 3 December at the age of 95, was the creator of the Soviet Union's animated version of AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh tales. The three much-loved Soviet cartoons of Vinni-Pukh, as Winnie the Pooh is known in Russia, were made between 1969 and 1972 and continue to be aired frequently on television. Along with Yuri Norshtein, whose 1975 Hedgehog in the Fog remains a cult classic, Khitruk has been credited as a leading innovator in the history of Soviet animation.

Graphic novels finally win the literary limelight as two make their way onto Costa Book awards shortlist

Bryan Talbot's graphic memoir Dotter of Her Father's Eyes and Days of the Bagnold Summer by Jeff Winterhart are both nominated

Daniel Day-Lewis portraying Abraham Lincoln in the film 'Lincoln'

Daniel Day-Lewis hits high note in search for Lincoln's voice

A towering figure such as Abraham Lincoln, who stood 6ft 4ins and was one of history's master orators, must have had a booming voice to match, right? Not in Daniel Day-Lewis' interpretation.

TLC plan first album since Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes' death

Surviving members of one of the most influential R&B bands of the nineties TLC are planning a new album a decade after the death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

Glee for comedy-goers after Corden’s quick Cardiff turn

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

DVD: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

The idea of this Tim Burton production is that Honest Abe (Benjamin Walker) may have spent his days rising from humble law student to American president, but he spent his nights beheading vampires in acrobatic slow motion.

The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies and What They Did To Us, By David Thomson

This book offers rich reflections on the impact of cinema, and its makers – bar some omissions
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World Cup 2014
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Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
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Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
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Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
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newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
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Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
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Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
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Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
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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?