Arts and Entertainment Chiwetel Ejiofor (second from right) stars as kidnapped slave Solomon Northup in '12 Years A Slave'

The Steve McQueen film made £2.5m in its opening weekend

Middle Eastern promise: Nadine Labaki (centre) in
'Where Do We Go Now?'

Nadine Labaki: The poster girl of Beirut makes a bittersweet return

Nadine Labaki is a Lebanese film-maker set for global success

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.

Mum’s the word: Sadie Frost performs ‘Touched... Like A Virgin’

In the groove with pop and pregnancy

Sadie Frost's one-woman show mixes Madonna and motherhood. By Charlotte Cripps

Market Report: Peppa Pig owner's shares fatten on movie deal talk

Lights, camera ... action? With Entertainment One, the co-owner of kids' favourite cartoon porcine Peppa Pig, on the search for acquisitions, The King's Speech-backer Alliance Films has long been rumoured to be in its sights. Yesterday, with the sale process of the Canadian firm looking set to be completed in a matter of weeks, City scribblers were claiming that – win or lose – punters would be switching onto the media firm.

Charles Edwards as King George VI and Emma Fielding as Queen Elizabeth in the stage version of The King's Speech

King's Speech film killed us off, say stars of stuttering West End show

Acclaimed production to close less than eight weeks into its run

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are competing for one of cinema's most prestigious prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival

Cinemas battle to put bums on seats

As unemployment and ticket prices both rise, will young adults continue to be able to afford trips to the movies? Geoffrey Macnab reports

A Blagger's Guide To: James Bond

'Vices: drink, but not to excess, and women ...'

Robert Fisk on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in 1984

Robert Fisk: The heroic myth and the uncomfortable truth of war reporting

Like other correspondents, Robert Fisk has risked his life to 'witness history'. But after almost four decades, he feels ambivalent towards his profession

Simon Kelner: Nothing much can remain a secret in this viral age

If you haven't seen The Artist yet, does the fact that it has won five Oscars make you more, or less, likely to go and see it? Seduced by its success, or put off by the hype?

Ciaran Hinds in ‘The Shore’, which centres on the Troubles

Northern Irish leaders unite in praise of Oscar-winner

An Oscar for a Belfast film-maker whose work concentrates on the violence of the Troubles was yesterday welcomed across the political and religious divide in Northern Ireland.

Robert Pattinson and Philip Glenister star in Bel Ami

Heads Up: Bel Ami

Fangs away but love still has bite for raunchy R-Pattz

Uggie the Dog is chewing over the bitterness of being not invited to the Oscars

Not invited? You're not alone. Neither is Uggie the Dog

Even the best get overlooked and humiliated at times. So, join the snub club

Time to call cut on long film titles

Have some sympathy for cinemagoers who make the mistake of booking their tickets over the phone in the next few weeks. Quite apart from the purgatory that is the multiplexes' booking systems, they'll also have to contend with titles that will leave them breathless.

First Night: The King's Speech, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

Much more than a chance to turn a royal hit film into royalties

Grant will be at birth of Bridget Jones's Baby

The production company behind the Bridget Jones's Diary movies was yesterday forced to deny reports that Hugh Grant had quit the third instalment because of issues with the script.

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

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Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

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Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
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Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones