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

Behind The Wire: cult classic reaches final season

As the final season of the US crime drama begins, DVD sales prove Britain has embraced a TV cult classic

Thomas Sutcliffe: No, TV is not the novel of today

The BBC's controller of fiction, Jane Tranter, picked a good week in which to suggest that television had supplanted the role of the novel in addressing the big social issues of the day, an argument she made in a speech to the Royal Television Society on Monday night. Not very long after she finished speaking, BBC One began transmitting Criminal Justice, Peter Moffat's ambitious five-part series about a young man who finds himself on remand for murder after a one-night stand goes badly wrong. And if the essential subject matter here wasn't startlingly original, the manner of its transmission was – stripped through every night of the week so that those hooked by the excellent opening episode didn't have to wait too long for their next fix. There have been weeks in which Tranter's jab at the established cultural hierarchies could have looked a bit unsubstantiated – but in this one, at least, she was solidly backed up by the Radio Times.

Kremlin tightens grip on Russian media

The most influential newspaper in Russia is to come under Kremlin control as the government tightens its grip on the media in the run-up to elections next year.

How do I look? Dominic West Actor, age 35

I'm enjoying getting older; I think I'll really come into my own when I'm 70

Event: Scratch 'n' sniff

INTERFERENCE: `TURNTABLISM' LUX CENTRE LONDON

Letter: Planning system

Sir: If the chief executive of Beazer Homes thinks that the planning system should be abolished (Business, 10 September) he no doubt wishes to add to the monotonous developments inflicted on the urban landscape around our cities. For the greatest threat, in recent years, has not come from the planning system but from the "Barrattisation" of the suburbs. Think again, Mr Webb, as you sip your gin and tonic in the pool.

Theatre: All the president's song-and-dances

In one corner there is The Fix. In the other corner there is Beauty and the Beast. One is a new musical at the 250-seat Donmar Warehouse, which within a couple of months has gone from a demo tape that landed on Sir Cameron Mackintosh's desk to a snazzy little production that introduces the work of an unknown American composer-lyricist team. The other is a not-quite-so-new musical at the 2,200-seat Dominion, which costs pounds 10 million and has so far opened in nine other countries. Sad to report: last week David got slain by Goliath.

THEATRE: The Seagull Old Vic, London

In the past few years, we've been subjected to a spate of grossly over-directed productions of Chekhov's The Seagull. First there was John Caird's Olivier version which opened with the whole cast drifting across a twilight stage, like Pirandello characters in search of an author, and which went on to enclose the action in a series of four gilt picture-frames. Then there was Robert Sturua's doggedly perverse account which turned Dr Dorn into a detached intermediary between stage and audience, and which was full of wearisomely editorialising ideas, like having Trigorin, the celebrity novelist who is never off duty, blatantly scribble down notes, even at the end as he observed the effect of that famous off-stage gunshot.

Impros, workshops, role reversals - classic Seventies fare

The First play in Sir Peter Hall's season of six "Classics" at the Old Vic, Waste, was written more than 70 years ago. The second play on which Sir Peter has conferred classic status is a mere 18 years old. Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchill clearly deals with big themes: colonialism, sexual oppression, and the link between the two. But after sitting, grimly, through Tom Cairns's well-acted revival, the question remains: in what way is this schematic piece a classic?

Theatre: Every cloud has a sexual lining

Paul Taylor inspects revivals of two plays that were scandals in their day; THEATRE Cloud Nine, Old Vic / Misalliance, Birmingham Rep

Trainspotting for toffs

True Blue Ferdinand Fairfax (15) The Day the Sun Turned Cold Yim Ho (12)

Loft in the lurch

They may look great, but warehouse flats come with a string of potential problems. By Anne Spackman
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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

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From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

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Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

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UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

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Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

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