Arts and Entertainment

It’s odd how many collaborative teams wrote sparkling comedy together but not drama; John Wells teamed with John Bird for a series of inspired political duologues called “The Long Johns”, which managed to predict the seriousness of the banking crisis, while John Fortune and John Wells found common ground to produce a now-forgotten surreal comic masterpiece.

Norma still haunted by that blue suit

Like the Princess of Wales, Norma Major was once the silent woman, a shy, smiling presence never known to utter more than a few conventional sentiments. After Dianarama, we've heard more than enough of the pushy princess. Norma Major: Behind Closed Doors, her first full-length TV interview, which is broadcast this afternoon on BBC1, forms an interesting companion piece to Diana's on-air baring, though not because you'll hear any revelations akin to "I adored him ... but I was terribly let down". In place of Squidgygate, we get the affair of the White Plastic Boots. Instead of bulimia and suicide attempts, there's the Blue Suit.

Monty's siege mentality

THE OPEN: Richard Edmondson watches another display of petulance from a player who cannot stop snapping at photographers

Going soft, and not just in the head


Labour set to axe women-only lists

Labour leaders will risk a new internal backlash today over the expected decision of the National Executive Committee to abandon the policy of reserving safe seats for women. The NEC is "almost certain" to agree not to appeal against an industrial tribunal ruling that the policy was unlawful.

Those choice words that say 'I hate you'

The Princess of Wales, it seems, can whisper a mean insult. But where's the wit, asks Peter Guttridge

Radio Clever Girls and Lost Boys Radio 4

'The programme had a rather badgering tone, never focused into a proper accusation'

Golf: Lane conquers Frost for jackpot


Lane the bounty hunter


Headlines fade, but the great ascetic battles on

MISSING PERSON; No 44: Ralph Nader

Watford's different class of banker


Cannabis inquiry backed by 27 Labour MPs

'Independent' survey: three members of opposition front bench side with Clare Short in row over legalisation of soft drug

Short says sorry as Blair reads riot act

The Shadow Cabinet will be warned tomorrow by Tony Blair to toe the line on policy or be sacked, after Clare Short gave a fulsome public apology for overstepping the mark on the legalisation of cannabis.

Leading Article: Short-circuiting the drugs debate

Clare Short's 24-hour career as a Labour front-bench spokesperson on home affairs, following her remarks to David Frost about legalising cannabis, is the sorriest illustration yet of the way that mainstream politicians are closing down debate as they scramble for the high, centre ground of public opinion.

Quietly speaking volumes

KINDRED SPIRITS: Adrift in Literary London by Jeremy Lewis, HarperColli ns pounds 17.99

Serbs feel UN 'gave the nod' to attacks

BOSNIA CRISIS: Robert Block in Grabovica talks to nationalists who doubt the West's commitment to defence of safe havens
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Career Services

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
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
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor