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

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...