Arts and Entertainment

Cutie and the Boxer (E) Zachary Heinzerling, DVD (82mins)

Hugh Grant was the 72nd person to be auditioned for the lead role in Four Weddings and a Funeral

Four Weddings and 72 auditions: Hugh Grant won romcom role after marathon casting process

With his cut-glass English charm and endearingly chaotic manner (not to mention the floppy hair) Hugh Grant has proven himself every bit the leading man. But the actor was actually the 72nd person to be auditioned for Four Weddings and a Funeral, and the was the first to make it seem funny, Richard Curtis has revealed.

Mathew Baynton

My Edinburgh: Mathew Baynton - Why the Fringe is a good place to wear a gimp mask

Yesterday, in Edinburgh, I was walking alongside a lady wearing high heels and a gimp mask. Her, not me. No-one walking past batted an eyelid. She had no flyers in her hand or any evidence of being in a show. I think she’d worked out that Edinburgh in August is a great place to be if you want to dress up oddly and not get funny looks.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and ‘terrific’ Chloë Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass 2

Nicholas Barber on Kick-Ass 2: Pantomime violence with an ethical edge

It could be called ‘Gouge-Eye 2’ or ‘Stab-Leg 2’, but this sequel is more moral than its prototype

Funny...AND a woman?! Tina Fey's new sitcom another blow to gendering laughs

The star of 30 Rock has reshaped the comedy landscape over her career

Richard Curtis initially made his name co-writing television comedies

Bowing out: Richard Curtis to say farewell to directing at About Time premiere

Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams are among the stars who will attend tonight's world premiere of Richard Curtis's latest film About Time as he brings his hugely successful directing career to an end.

Love’s labour’s lost: Richard Curtis; Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon in ‘Love Actually’

Goodbye, actually? Richard Curtis, has announced that his next film will be his last. But directors have a nasty habit of retiring again and again

A while ago, I went to the cinema to see Side Effects, which several reviews had informed me was director Steven Soderbergh’s final film before retiring. “This clever pharma-thriller would be a fitting sign-off,” ran the subhead in The Observer’s review.

Richard Curtis initially made his name co-writing television comedies

Don't announce your retirement, Richard Curtis - it's far better to fade to black

All these smoke signals about retirement are tiresome. Is the whole of Britain meant to mount a campaign to make the director change his mind?

Video: Benedict Wong

Watch the videos below to view previews and trailers for some of the projects Benedict Wong's recent projects.

Video: Benedict Wong

Watch the videos below to view previews and trailers for some of the projects Benedict Wong's recent projects.

Video: Benedict Wong

Watch the videos below to view previews and trailers for some of the projects Benedict Wong's recent projects.

Father Ted actor Ardal O'Hanlon has been cast in Channel 4 drama London Irish

Ardal O'Hanlon joins cast of new Channel 4 drama London Irish

Father Ted star Ardal O'Hanlon is joining the cast of a new near-the-knuckle Channel 4 comedy about Northern Irish pals growing up in London.

Sacha Baron Cohen (left) was due to play Freddie Mercury (right) in a film of his life

I want to break free: Sacha Baron Cohen exits Freddie Mercury biopic over 'creative differences' with Queen

Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen is reported to have quit playing the lead in an impending Freddie Mercury biopic due to a disagreement with the remaining members of Queen.

Big screen breakthrough: Next month sees the release of 'Alan Partridge, The Movie', which goes by the name Alpha Papa

A-ha! Alan Partridge movie Alpha Papa gives airtime to forgotten pop classics

His musical tastes famously extend from Abba to Wings, “the band The Beatles could have been”. But Alan Partridge’s elevation to the big screen is set to bring a new lease of life to a host of artists unfairly excluded from pop’s hall of fame.

Front Crawl: Frost, Pegg and Considine battle middle-age melancholia ... and killer robots

Jonathan Romney on The World's End: Invasion of the lager snatchers

Pegg, Frost and Wright end their 'Cornetto' trilogy with a clever, touching comedy

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
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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
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn