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?

My Old Man: A Personal History of Music Hall By John Major

The former PM eloquently ties the story of mass entertainment to his family history

Paralympic opening ceremony to feature Stephen Hawking

The Paralympic opening ceremony will be an “exquisite journey of discovery” with Professor Stephen Hawking as a guide, its co-artistic director Jenny Sealey has said.

Phantom singer Brightman 'to become Russia's next space tourist'

British singer Sarah Brightman may be the next paying passenger to ride a Russian rocket to the International Space Station, the Interfax news agency reported today, citing an unidentified official in the space industry in Russia.

Punch and Judy makes comeback

Punch and Judy is making a comeback - but without the violence or dropped baby.

History brought to life: Housesteads Roman fort

Countyfile: Northumberland - Follow the historic trails of the Vikings and Romans

It's the last chance to see a Viking battle at Lindisfarne Priory today (01289 389200; www.english-heritage.org.uk; admission £6.50). "The Vikings Return: Viking Raiders" will aim to recreate the atmosphere of AD793 when Lindisfarne was the scene of the first assaults on the north-east coast of England by these marauders. Rather less combative entertainment is also on offer at this specially reconstructed Viking encampment. See the armour they wore and weapons they used, and there's also a replica of a Viking longship to admire.

Bulllet Catch, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Here comes actor and, for the occasion, raconteur Rob Drummond to tell us a story.

One Minute With: Louise Welsh, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Callum McClure, 14, from Guildford, Surrey,
first became interested in illusions when
he was eight and a magician came to his
school. He is planning on graduating to the Magic Circle and travelling to Las Vegas and Hollywood

Hey, presto! Record numbers of children signing up to Young Magicians Club

Children see magic because they look for it, it's said, but more and more of them are determined to practise it as well. Once the preserve of men in tuxedos pulling rabbits from top hats, TV magic is nurturing a new generation who want to get down with the kids.

See Cantina for just £17.50

Take your seat for an evening of beautiful, exhilarating and truly breathtaking entertainment.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: There is still a strong case for a republic

I admire and hugely like the singer Billy Bragg, that proud working-class hero. The last time we met, the Queen's Jubilee came up and also my fierce republicanism. Don't fret, said Billy, understand. Royalty is an integral part of British culture. Respect it, as you ask for your culture to be respected. I have never believed any tradition should be above criticism, just because it goes back a long way. But still, Billy, this time I tried, really tried. And then this week the excessive indulgence of spoilt royals, the oleaginousness and uninhibited ostentation got to me. Objections broke out, like hives. And quite honestly it is a relief after the suffocating restraint of the past months.

Knight vision: Medieval magic in Gotland, Sweden

Summer 2012: Family-friendly festivals

Jousting knights and juggling jesters will help recreate the spirit of medieval Sweden at the Medeltidsveckan Festival (00 46 0498 29 10 70; www.medeltidsveckan.se), in the walled city of Visby on Gotland island from 5-12 August. Sunvil Discovery (020-8758 4722; sunvil.co.uk/discovery) has a week from £1,385 per person including return flights on SAS Scandinavian Airlines from Heathrow via Stockholm to Visby, accommodation with breakfast and car hire.

Album: Saint Etienne, Words and Music by Saint Etienne (Heavenly)

The handover between "Over the Border" - a semi-spoken memoir about the powerful hold of pop over the young mind - and "I've Got Your Music" encapsulates everything that's great about Saint Etienne: one minute they're singing about great pop, the next they're actually doing some.

How We Met: Chris Cox and Tim Minchin

'I get frustrated by how good he is, but it inspires me to do better'

Joan Smith: Is this how people should treat their pets?

Dr Johnson was famously sniffy about dogs walking on their hind legs. So I'm not sure he'd have been entranced by Pudsey, the mop-haired pooch whose owner swept up a £500,000 prize at the weekend. Ashleigh Butler, who's 17, has trained her collie-cross to dance on his hind legs, and their barn-storming performance took them to victory in the final of Britain's Got Talent.

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Day In a Page

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
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment