News Netflix HQ in California

The video streaming company say they are planning “substantial European expansion” later this year

Obituary: Lloyd Bridges

AFTER more than 20 years as an actor in theatre and cinema, Lloyd Bridges found international fame as an underwater investigator in the television series Sea Hunt. Twenty-three years later, his career in eclipse, he found new fame by spoofing his own macho image in the film Airplane.

Fired up with a shot of David Lynch

Self-indulgent to the point of pottiness, 'Trigger Happy' still scores, thanks to Jeff Goldblum, Gabriel Byrne and Richard Dreyfuss; CINEMA

Strong earnings bolster Wall Street

Offering fresh fodder to the Wall Street bull, a parade of American corporations, from General Motors to Kodak, released third-quarter earnings results yesterday that were far in excess of analysts' forecasts.

And what's more. . .

Jason Donovan's agent has denied rumours that his client is to make a comeback in a West End revival of the 1974 musical Billy, based on the book, film and play Billy Liar. Rumours are also circulating about a Broadway musical based on the life of Lucille Ball. Casting suggestions include Bernadette Peters for the title role . . . Charlie Sheen on a fellow actor: 'How does Francis Ford Coppola, one of the greatest film-makers of our time, see Keanu Reeves's work and say, 'That's what I want in my movie'.' . . .

Wall Street looks for new QVC bidder

NEW YORK - Wall Street hopes another bidder will emerge this week for QVC Network following last Tuesday's takeover offer from Comcast, which wrecked the proposed merger between QVC and CBS, writes Michael Marray.

FILM / The Big Pictures: No Stone unturned: Sheila Johnston reviews Heaven and Earth, the conclusion of Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy

One day, maybe, some angry young film-maker yet unborn will make a biopic of Oliver Stone. He is, after all, the quintessential angry American anti-hero: Yale drop-out, decorated Vietnam veteran, pothead and, these last few years, self-appointed scourge of the national conscience. In the meantime, Stone has been busily enshrining angry American anti-heroes in films of his own. But, thanks to a tireless talent for self-publicity, he's as celebrated as any of his fictional heroes - in Dave, the comedy about a Presidental doppelganger, he raises a huge laugh in a split-second cameo sending up his own paranoia (he alone rumbles Kevin Kline as an imposter).

FILM / It's not hot and there's no shots in it: Hot Shots: Part Deux] is the latest exercise in movie parody from Jim Abrahams. Kevin Jackson met him

CLOSE-UP on Charlie Sheen, tense and sweaty in combat gear, musing about hell being the impossibility of reason. Cut to close-up on Martin Sheen, sweaty and tense in combat gear, musing about his ever-narrowing proximity to the demented Colonel Kurtz. Cut to wide shot of father and son leaping to the sides of their respective patrol boats and yelling in unison 'I loved you in Wall Street]' Surely you recognise the comic trademark? Correct: it's a scene from the latest offering of the Airplane / Naked Gun school - Hot Shots: Part Deux], directed by Jim Abrahams. . . and don't call him Shirley.

FILM / Good Boy, Bad Boy: Hollywood has a quiet obsession with twins. John Lyttle considers the similarities

BORIS Karloff's The Black Room (1935) typifies what's expected of the good twin / bad twin, male order. If women compete to personify a deranged ideal of the feminine, then The Black Room is a primitive struggle for macho dominance. Dumas' The Man in the Iron Mask is perhaps the most naked expression of the equation. It takes the Three Musketeers to save Philippe (Louis Hayward) from conniving Louis XIV and restore the throne of France to order.

FILM / The Hollywood home movie show: The appearance of Depardieu pere et fils in Tous Les Matins du Mondes continues a long and occasionally dishonourable film tradition. John Lyttle uproots a family tree of sibling rivalries

TWO well-worn routes to film fame: the casting couch and the crib. Both involve a lot of lying about on your back and playing dumb while people loom over you making silly faces, but the crib leaves you with your virtue intact. And if Daddy isn't about to buy you a mockingbird, then he should at least arrange a screen test, shouldn't he?
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there