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

Helena Bonham Carter: In all the best circles

She was once a waif-like fixture in costume drama who struggled to impress the critics. Now she has evolved into one of cinema's most intriguing actresses. And then there's the company she keeps...

The Kings Speech (12A)

Starring: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush

Natalie Haynes: Wikipedia shows the internet at its best

Wikipedia will celebrate its 10th birthday later this month. And its users will celebrate with ad-free pages, because the annual Wiki fundraiser has been a record-breaker this year. The Wikimedia Foundation plastered its pages with pictures of co-founder, Jimmy Wales, staring moodily at the reader and asking for cash. Although it provoked ungenerous criticism from some parts of the blogosphere (mocked-up Wikipedia pages with Wales's face superimposed on woodland creatures, for a start), it worked. The banner ads sporting his face received three times more clicks than the ones without him, and they received higher average donations.

Culture Club: Come Fly with Me

Readers review this week’s big TV show

Crowning Glory: How The King's Speech got made

Bedlam Productions’ co-founder Gareth Unwin explains how he took an unknown script and turned it into one of the most high profile British films of 2011.

Facebook film wins friends – and awards

First blood in the long battle that will end at the Oscars in late February was drawn by the film The Social Network, which picked up the lion's share of honours at the opening event of the Hollywood awards "season".

Tom Sutcliffe: Dramatic pause that says so much

The week in culture

DVD: A Single Man

Colin Firth stars in Tom Ford’s adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood novel, playing a bereaved professor who’s planning his suicide over the course of a day in early- 1960s California.

A Single Man, Tom Ford, 100 mins (12A)

Tom Ford's cinematic love letter to the Sixties, starring Colin Firth as a bereaved, gay Englishman in LA, hits the spot as a highbrow weepie

A Single Man (12A)

Slight, but it's perfectly formed

Gay actors take a risk, says Colin Firth

Colin Firth says gay actors risk missing out on work if they come out.

Gay actors face obstacles

Colin Firth claimed today that gay actors risk missing out on work if they come out. The actor stars as gay college professor George Falconer in A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford, the US fashion designer who turned around the Gucci label before heading to Hollywood.

DVD: Dorian Gray, For retail & rental (Momentum)

This slickly scripted new interpretation of Oscar Wilde's novel stars Ben Barnes as the handsome aristocrat who will never age as long as his portrait does it for him, and Colin Firth as the ultimate bad influence.

Amy Jenkins: Why shows like Legally Blonde are the opium of the lasses

Legally Blonde, the musical, is the new feel-good girls night out. The hype was such that the show was a hit before it even opened – or so the story went. "The first preview was what I imagine Beatlemania to have been like," said producer Sonia Friedman. "You sometimes couldn't even hear the performers through the screaming."

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there