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

Deborah Orr: The bright sparks are left behind

The Government has this week launched another bunch of tinkering education reforms. In the main, they suffer from the same problem as every reform of anything that this Government, from now on, will ever announce.

Win 'The Corner' - DVDs & books

In 1997, David Simon and Ed Burns, co-creators of acclaimed TV series The Wire, published The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighbourhood, a book detailing the grim realities of the drug trade in the US city of Baltimore. Later, in 2000, they adapted the book into an acclaimed HBO mini-series. Now, both the book and a DVD of the series have been re-released.

Donnie Andrews: The road to redemption

In care and brutalised, Donnie Andrews never stood a chance. In with the street gangs, he was convicted of murder at the age of 32. Then, he read the Bible, met the creator of 'The Wire', and a famous anti-hero was born. Tim Walker meets Donnie Andrews

David Simon: 'I just tell it like it is'

Drugs, homicide, institutional failings... it may seem as if David Simon, creator of 'The Wire', is crusading for change. In fact, he just wants to get the story straight

Great drama – but can you hear a single word they are saying?

Study will investigate whether viewers are turned off TV because the dialogue is inaudible

Clarke Peters: From The Wire to Nelson Mandela



He’s a shadowy figure lurking in the background in the corporate law drama Damages, initially a slow-burner in The Wire and a man alone with his thoughts playing Nelson Mandela in the forthcoming Channel 4 drama Endgame.

Close-up: Clarke Peters

Where does the actor go after Lester in 'The Wire'? Nelson Mandela, of course

Stuck in the past: Why is modern literature obsessed with history?

Contemporary novelists are so busy writing about the past, they're neglecting the times they live in. It's time to get real, argues Amanda Craig

Amy Jenkins: Why bleak TV is something to smile about

It put a smile on my face to read that the hardcore HBO cop show, The Wire, got good viewing figures when it aired for the first time on BBC2 this week. Why? Because The Wire is well known for being grim, sombre and relentlessly bleak. I'm just so terribly happy about relentlessly bleak. I want my TV drama as gloomy as can be.

Leading article: Down to the wire

Last night many in Britain got their first glimpse into a world of arrogant police detectives, entrepreneurial drug dealers and self-interested politicians in one of America's chaotic and violent metropolises; a world also known as The Wire.

Tom Sutcliffe: Why we are all haunted by religion

What a striking choice of words the Archbishop of Canterbury made when he said, on Sunday, that he believed we were "living in a country that is uncomfortably haunted by the memory of religion". The Archbishop is not a completely unworldly man, and he's had some uncomfortable tuition since his ordination in the aggressive simplifications of the press. But I'm not sure he fully worked out what this idea might look like once it had been squeezed into a headline.

My Secret Life: Dominic West, actor, 39

The home I grew up in ... was a big, detached, stone house by the moors that fringe Sheffield, where my mother still lives. I've just had this exact conversation with her insurance company.

Generation Kill, FX<br>A Short Stay In Switzerland, BBC1<br>Gossip Girl, ITV2<br>Beverly Hills 90210, E4

The writers of 'The Wire' have put a bomb under the war genre with this gripping, intelligent series
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
News
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
peopleIggy Azalea was left red faced but apparently unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards
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newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
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The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
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scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
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newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
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techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
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Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
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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
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition