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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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