Arts and Entertainment

The Good Wife on More4 is in the midst of a reputation revision. Long-term fans of the smart, glossy legal drama, which began its fifth season on More4 last night, often complain it's not given the recognition it deserves. It's true that among crime and law procedurals (TV shows where a problem is raised and solved within a single episode) this is a show of unusual quality. But is The Good Wife really that good?

Brigitte Bardot wins fight to save elephants

Brigitte Bardot will not have to emigrate to Russia after all. The actress and animal-lover, right, had threatened to leave France if the government pressed ahead with plans to destroy two TB-infected elephants in a Lyon zoo.

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo

Is Rio Ferdinand right about Gareth Bale?

The Tottenham winger has been compared to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. We take a look at the stats to find out if he's worthy

Russell Howard

Russell Howard: I am king of the mingers!

The comedian came top in a poll of 'weird crushes'

Marie Arnet as Lulu in Welsh National Opera's production of Alban Berg's Lulu directed by David Pountney and conducted by Lothar Koenigs at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Lulu, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Alban Berg’s Lulu is a great opera, and greatly problematic.

DVD & Blu-ray review: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (PG)

While the Ice Age series drifts on with ever-diminishing returns, the Madagascar films get better.

The Hairy Bikers (above) and the BBC Television Centre (below), which is due to become a BBC themed village

Coming soon: tea at the Great British Bake Off bakery and lunch at the Hairy Bikers restaurant

It looks like we could soon be staying at the Fawlty Towers hotel, eating lunch at the Hairy Bikers restaurant and buying tea and scones from the Great British Bake Off bakery.

Owen Farrell kicked seven out of eight attempts at goal

Owen Farrell looks to Jonathan Sexton rather than Jonny Wilkinson for route to greatness

Fly-half impressed against Scotland in the Six Nations

Smashed, Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House

Smashed, by Gandini Juggling, starts with apparent decorum. Dozens of bright red apples are laid out in a neat pattern. Cups and saucers look ready for afternoon tea. By the end of this inventive and very funny show, chaos reigns. That crockery is doomed.

Restaurant review: Bounce, 121 Holborn, London EC1

Normally when I'm shown to a far-flung table in a deserted corner by the loos, I'm tempted to complain to the management. But never have I felt more grateful for a Siberian placement than at Bounce, where our table was for table tennis. Thanks to our isolation, the wild flailings, reckless volleys and inter-generational conflict of our family ping-pong game went largely unnoticed by the early adopters who fill this super-cool new bar.

The circus company’s new show Kooza was criticised as being ‘soulless’

Is the sun going down on Cirque du Soleil?

Its new London show received sceptical reviews, and now Cirque du Soleil faces questions about its future - after announcing plans to axe 400 jobs to cover spiralling costs.

Death-defying: Cirque du Soleil in extravagant Kooza, at the Royal Albert Hall

IoS dance review: Cirque du Soleil, Royal Albert Hall, London
Ockham's Razor, Platform Theatre, King's Cross, London

Sky-high ticket prices keep families away, but clowns need kids' gasps or it's just plain silly

The elephants were exiled to a zoo in Lyon in 1999

Hollande refuses to save sick elephants

President François Hollande has refused to “pardon” two zoo elephants whose death sentence has  provoked the actress Brigitte Bardot to threaten to move to Russia.

Cirque du Soleil, Royal Albert Hall, London

Cirque du Soleil offers a bewildering mix of the bland and the flat-out terrifying. As so often with this company, the clowning and the framing devices are all bombast. The acrobatic acts, when at last we get to them, are so scarily brave that I wanted to watch the aerialists and the wheel of death through my fingers.

The elephants Baby and Nepal, who are thought to be carrying tuberculosis, at the Tête d’Or zoo in Lyon

François Hollande faces Brigitte Bardot over rescue of two sick elephants from a Lyon zoo

A problem even larger than Gérard Depardieu faces the French government this week. Should President François Hollande intervene to rescue two sick elephants in a Lyon zoo?

Dean Richards: The sinner turned saint has Newcastle Falcons flying high

Having done his time for his role in the Quins Bloodgate scandal, Richards is enjoying a new lease of life resurrecting Newcastle, as he tells Simon Turnbull

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future