Arts and Entertainment

I was just a small part of the Harry Potter franchise When I got the audition to play Lavender Brown in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince six years ago, I'd only done a few ads before, including one for Veet hair-removal cream. Winning the part felt like winning the Lottery.

Oprah makes Michael Jackson pale

IT WAS an embarrassing question to ask anyone, let alone the painfully shy Michael Jackson, but Oprah Winfrey finally managed to get to the bottom of an issue that has mystified millions of fans and generated countless yards of speculative newsprint. Why was his skin getting so much lighter? And then the rabbit-punch: was he turning white because he did not like being black?

Fashion: Creedless, classless, ageless - and cheap: Reworked in baby pink or stretched to the limits of the imagination, good old durable denim looks certain to become the designer fabric of the year. Roger Tredre reports

Denim comes of age this season. British designers are breathing new life into a classic fabric, expanding the boundaries of the possible in the best traditions of British fashion design.

FASHION / The new pluck: Who'd have thought there was so much in an eyebrow? Those bushy Brooke Shields caterpillars have been refined to Fifties arcs and now they've more or less disappeared altogether. You never know what you've got till they've gone

One of the last great beauty credos of the Eighties is crumbling. The luxuriant eyebrow that every beauty editor and make-up artist held sacrosanct for an entire decade (the same one that was supposed to be absolutely essential to the architecture of any face) is being plucked and pencilled into an emaciated shadow of its former self.
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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
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on