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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
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What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

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The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

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Climate change key in Syrian conflict

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