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.

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

Robert Pattinson and Philip Glenister star in Bel Ami

Heads Up: Bel Ami

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

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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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
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