Arts and Entertainment Downton Abbey may be on our screens until 2020

The show's producer has said there are 'no plans' to end the period drama

HARRY POTTER: The House of Lords, too, is a Chamber of Secrets

Peer film review – it's the House of Lords cinema

It seems that Tory and Lib Dem party managers have come up with an ingenious way of making tired peers stay late for crunch votes in the House of Lords.

Storied tale: Henry Selfridge’s Oxford Street store in 1931

Retail: TV shows where you know what's in store

After The Paradise, TV drama is once more running for the tills with Mr Selfridge. Are department stores really the new Downton?

EastEnders pulled in 9.4m viewers on Christmas Day

EastEnders wins Christmas Day television ratings battle as BBC dominates festive viewing

Viewing figures slump in the great Christmas TV turn-off - audience numbers are lowest for a decade

Heads Up: No Quarter

Estate of the nation – Stenham goes back to the drawing-room

Replica Downton Abbey kitchen merchandise (and candelabras!) to go on sale

Mrs Patmore will be so pleased that her pots pans and crockery will be raising standards in households across the world

'Call The Midwife' and 'Downton Abbey' will not go head-to-head this Christmas

Broadcasting: Telly rivals call a truce for Christmas – you can, too

With the much-publicised trouncing of The X Factor in the ratings by Strictly Come Dancing, the rivalry between ITV and BBC is as healthy as ever. But have the networks called a Christmas truce?

We should be proud of Britain's great melting pot

A friend of mine visiting from Miami was stunned by way different cultures mix

Errors and Omissions: Try as you might, there's no way to decapitate a human head

This week the Independent's pedant-in-chief considers the stars, takes on "whet" vs "wet", and severs a misunderstanding

Laura Carmichael and Ken Stott in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya; right, Sir Peter Hall

Sir Peter Hall apologises for 'unintentionally' heckling Downton actress after falling asleep during her West End debut

Famed director says his 'bizarre' outburst was a result of 'disorientation'

Downton Abbey: Fellowes’ biggest success would also qualify, as it has a British cast and makes lavish use of Highclere Castle in Berkshire

Fellowes plans to boost Downton's ethnic diversity as series ends on record ratings high

Downton Abbey creator would like to introduce black or Asian characters into the period drama set in an English country home. 

Market Report: ITV braced for bad news on advertising

ITV chairman Archie Norman has described television advertising as a "faulty shower" and it looks like the metaphorical water pressure could well be on the blink again.

The Weekend's Television: Servants: the True Story of Life Below Stairs, Fri BBC2 / Downton Abbey, Sun ITV1

When the producers of Channel 4's 2002 reality series The Edwardian Country House advertised for volunteers for their reconstruction of upstairs-downstairs life, they were surprised by an imbalance in the responses.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Adelaide Clemens star in Parade's End
Rebecca Hall and Benedict Cumberbatch in Edwardian drama Parade's End

Sir Tom Stoppard returns to the small screen with Edwardian drama

Parade's End, on the BBC, is a £13m co-production with HBO

Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Miranda Hart, George Rainsford and Pam Ferris in Call The Midwife

Midwives bicycle across the pond in Downton Abbey's wake

American viewers couldn't get enough of the class snobbery and grandeur of Downton Abbey. But will the misery of the East End's post-war slums prove quite as appealing when Call The Midwife becomes the latest British drama to cross the Atlantic?

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on