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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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice