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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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back