Arts and Entertainment

Sally Wainwright's hit BBC drama about Celia and Alan will be back in late 2014

The enduring charm of the Borgias

One of history's most notorious families is returning to TV – this time with a class cast. Sarah Hughes has a preview

Hereafter (12A)

Starring: Matt Damon, Cécile de France

Sarah Sands: The hating of Bercow – let me count the ways

While America is reflecting on the consequences of ideological polarity, this is the English version of a bust-up. The Speaker, John Bercow, who in the film version might be played by Tom Hollander, confronts the burlier Tory figure of Mark Pritchard, in the corridors of Westminster. For some reason, Bercow decides to speak as if he were in Wolf Hall: "The courtesy of the House is that honourable members should stand aside when the Speaker passes by." The honourable member growls: "You are not fucking royalty, Mr Speaker." Bercow squeals after him: " Well a good morning to you, Sir." Pritchard's line is not Wilberforce, but it caught the imagination of his colleagues and is now being printed on T-shirts.

King Lear, Donmar Warehouse, London

He is the most exacting and pernickety of actors, Derek Jacobi, which means that his long-awaited Lear will never open the floodgates. But it is most beautifully spoken and detailed. It's also terribly polite.

Tom Sutcliffe: Dramatic pause that says so much

The week in culture

Murder! Incest! Cannibalism!: Why 1976 was a year of TV excess

As ITV remakes one of 1976’s lustiest TV sagas, Gerard Gilbert looks back on a year that broke every boundary

Charles Dicken's England

That a documentary about the most exuberant comic novelist who ever lived should be quite so plodding as this is really a cause for shame.

DVD: A Bunch of Amateurs (15)

Good performances from Imelda Staunton, Derek Jacobi and Samantha Bond make this a watchable film, which fares better on the small screen.

Janie Dee: Pinter, a man of passion, peace... and pauses

Today I'm thinking of Harold Pinter with sadness, but mostly with gratitude. Wanting to remember everything. Such as the first run through of his play Betrayal, in which I played Emma, in 2003. He turned up in his dark glasses. At the end he took them off and announced to Peter Hall that he thought it could be "the best" and that he was taking us all out to lunch. Peter later reassured us that the invitation was a sure sign of his approval.

Album: Common, Universal Mind Control (Island)

Apart from his recent shift into movies, Common seems to be approaching his hip-hop career in a perversely roundabout manner

Last Night's TV: Sickly come dancing is too sweet for me

Ballet Shoes, BBC1; The Old Curiosity Shop, ITV1

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?