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
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Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
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An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

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Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

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Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

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Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

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Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders