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.

Still making waves: William Golding

A midlife crisis that followed Lord of the Flies

The object of William Golding's obsession breaks her silence

Simon Callow

Simon Callow talks the circus, Jamie Oliver and coming out

Simon Callow – actor, director and writer – doesn’t have many regrets, but he says he would love to have joined a circus. He would be “a clown of course.”

Spotlight on: Harvey Weinstein, Co-chairman, the Weinstein Company

And the winner is... Yes, after the Oscars, who can doubt that the brothers Weinstein, Harvey and his younger sibling Bob, are back on top in Hollywood? The Weinstein Company distributed The Artist in the US, and orchestrated its campaign to win Best Picture, and that wasn't the only one of the firm's movies taking plaudits.

The 84th Academy Awards are tomorrow night and the past couple of decades suggest that there is a specific formula for Oscar success

What it takes to win a Oscar

All film-makers are searching for the secrets of Oscar success. But the formula is pretty straightforward, as Daniel Bettridge explains...

Madonna on the set of her film 'W.E.'

Film extra tells Madonna the real history of Wallis Simpson

A patriotic film extra decided to set his director straight over her revisionist take on royal history, despite the fact it was Madonna in charge.

Profile: Meryl Streep

The Blockheads, Water Rats, London

A fan barely moves the warm, soupy air inside the packed pub back room. It’s the sort of place where Ian Dury played with his band Kilburn and the High Roads in the early 1970s, one leg ravaged by polio, his Essex guttersnipe wit and intransigent attitude influencing a watching Johnny Rotten. But it was his next band the Blockheads who provided the jazz-funk, pub-rock engine which powered his greatest work, often co-written with Chaz Jankel.

Geoffrey Macnab: It's already more hyped than it was first time around

The White Shadow (1924), the newly discovered lost Alfred Hitchcock movie, certainly wasn't one of the high points in his early career. "The film was a total failure," writes Donald Spoto in his Hitchcock biography. "A box-office disaster," agrees rival biographer John Russell Taylor.

The Doors of Perspection - picture preview

An exhibition of new digital collages opened at the Vitrine Gallery in London. Vicki Bennett's work is created using an unusual technique which expands film scenes beyond their conventional screen ratio making familiar Hollywood situations stretch out to reach the viewer.

Pina (U)

Starring: Regina Advento, Malou Airaudo

Cultural Life: Philippa Gregory, novelist

Books: I am reading Adam Thorpe's 'Hodd' – a fictional account of Robin Hood, alongside David Baldwin's biography 'Robin Hood: The English Outlaw Unmasked'. It's fascinating to compare the two treatments. Baldwin finds his way through the medieval world, explaining the gaps in the manuscript, and Thorpe has written the manuscript we are missing. It's a wonderful historical jigsaw puzzle and perfect to be read side by side.

James Lees-Milne: The Life, By Michael Bloch

A detailed, chatty biography of an author who wrote detailed, chatty diaries may seem superfluous, but, as with Pepys, a fuller picture emerges.

Gainsbourg (15)

The life of the French musician and provocateur Serge Gainsbourg is given a suitably antic treatment in Joann Sfar's half- admiring, half-satiric cine-portrait.

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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
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor