Arts and Entertainment Stephen McGann, who plays Dr Turner in 'Don't Call the Midwife', has said the acting profession is excluding working class children

The actor said the profession is becoming so limited that a 'messy kid from a council estate' like himself would no longer be able to forge a career

Film: The British are coming!

With new films from old masters Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, fresh comedy talents behind the camera and two Roman epics in the pipeline, these are exciting times for homegrown movies. Geoffrey Macnab looks ahead

Leading article: Not 'The Wire'

Over the past week, our crime correspondent and his opposite number from the US city of Baltimore have been reporting on each other's patches. The idea was to find out not only how true to reality was the depiction of the urban underworld now familiar to British television viewers from The Wire, but also to find out how our own crime black spots and policing appear from outside. And there is more good news than bad.

Tim Walker: 'Salad Club takes place in someone's living room and has its own etiquette'

The Couch Surfer: 'The washing up was being done in the bath. This was a delightful quirk rather than irritation'

Pandora: Crossed wires? I don't think so, says Dominic

When the shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling compared the UK to the mean streets of Baltimore, as depicted in HBO's hit drama The Wire, he provoked a torrent of ridicule.

For the record: 31/08/2009

<i>&lsquo;It has provoked an astonishing level of public debate and been an under-appreciated showcase for social diversity,&rsquo; Channel 4&rsquo;s Julian Bellamy defends Big Brother while shuttting it down</i>

John Rentoul: If Britain is 'broken', who broke it?

We've been here before: the Tories' scare stories are bogus. More to the point, they have no alternative plan

Chris Grayling: It's the Conservatives who offer the solution to tackling 'Broken Britain'

Since Labour came to power, the level of violent crime in Britain has risen dramatically, by 70 per cent. Gun crime is up by more than half and there are more than 100 serious knife crimes each day. Under Labour, fatal stabbings reached the highest level on record.

Britain as dangerous as Baltimore? You&rsquo;ve got your wires crossed

Shadow Home Secretary derided for comparing UK crime to TV show setting

Used subtitles to watch The Wire? The writer says that's just criminal

So you thought the subtitles button was the best way to decipher the acclaimed US crime series? Wrong. You've turned genius into comedy, its writer tells Arifa Akbar

Newspapers must charge for web content says writer of 'The Wire'

David Simon believes newspapers must start charging for web content if they are to survive. Ian Burrell talks to the former crime reporter.

Breaking the Mould: the Story of Penicillin, BBC4<br>How the Other Half Live, Channel 4

This account of the discovery of penicillin didn't suffer from the dispensing of a few dramatic liberties

Last Night's Television: Engineering Britain's Superweapons, more4<br />Breaking The Mould: The Story Of Penicillin, BBC4

Breaking the Mould: the Story of Penicillin began and ended with the same scene – a government apparatchik addressing a scientific committee to tell them that the PM himself had given the go-ahead for the industrial development of penicillin, and then calling for a vote of thanks to the man responsible for this great scientific advance. The camera eyed up a likely-looking cove with a centre parting and gold-rimmed glasses, bracing himself to look modest, but then it became clear that it wasn't his name that had been called out. It was, as every schoolboy knows, Alexander Fleming who got the credit and the postage stamp, while Sir Harold Florey – whose team did most of the heavy lifting in developing penicillin as a practical medicine – had to content himself with a third share of the Nobel Prize and (a bit too late for his benefit) this BBC4 drama putting the matter right.

Dominic West: 'I would be marvellous in Batman'

Dominic West, the old Etonian star of 'The Wire' who criticised US actors playing Brits, appears on BBC4 next week as an Australian scientist in the drama 'Breaking the Mould'. He tells Gerard Gilbert how his background has shaped perceptions of the roles he can play

Boyd Tonkin: Listen to all the voices of Africa

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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones