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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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen