Tory fury as Labour breaks guns truce

The unofficial truce between the major parties over the Dunblane tragedy broke down yesterday as the Tories accused Labour of trying to make political capital by openly stating its preference to outlaw automatic and semi- automatic weapons.

Dustin Hoffman blames Hollywood over Dunblane

The Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman yesterday chose the Cannes Film Festival as the venue for an attack on cinema's falling standards on violence.

THEATRE; Stanley and the women

THE IDEA that artists put their talent into their work and their genius into their lives must appeal to writers of biographical drama. The heights scaled by the art contrast nicely with the depths plumbed by the artist. Pam Gems has written the latest artist-as-an-awful-person play, which presents Sir Stanley Spencer, the creator of The Last Supper, The Resurrection of Soldiers and Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta, as wheedling, randy, nerdish, spoilt, childish and cruel. Fans, be warned.

Here's the diploma, now buy the video

Graduation ceremonies just aren't the half-hearted efforts they used to be, laments David Lister

`Bollywood' superstar heads west

David Lister reports on the `Dustin Hoffman of India' appearing at the National

OTHER RELEASES : This is a deadly dialogue alert

Outbreak (15) Wolfgang Petersen / US Le Colonel Chabert (PG) Yves Angelo / France La Frontera (15) Riccardo Larrain / Chile Look Me in the Eye (no cert) Nick Ward / UK

Life swaps

Life swaps

Spider shows its lines

The first Alfa Romeo Spider since the 1960s will make its world debut at next month's Paris Motor Show.

Travel: Two engines bad?

ANYONE who saw the film Rain Man will recall Dustin Hoffman's character's insistence that he would fly only on Qantas, since it has never suffered a passenger fatality. Not wishing to tempt fate, the Australian airline keeps quiet about its remarkable record. Safety has never been an issue airlines have bragged about, since this could backfire horribly. And, according to Andy Plews, a United Airlines spokesman, 'It is most unusual for any airline to question the safety standards of other carriers.'

TURNING POINT / Still reeling after all these years: Upon reading Pauline Kael . . . John Lyttle on his first encounter with the New Yorker's legendary film critic

Sometimes life is like the most banal movie cliche. There are moments that change your life . . .

Captain Moonlight: Cut out and keep catch-up service

SCISSORS out for the Captain's renowned Catch-up Service, a digest of the week's news which will build up into a unique record of 1994 . . . Stephen Powelson, 76, a retired accountant of Amherst, Massachusetts, is memorising The Iliad . . . Dustin Hoffman was spotted roller-skating in Kensington. 'I couldn't believe it. I almost crashed,' said driver Dean Keyworth . . . A bad week for robbers: John Smart, of Sunderland, picked up a manhole cover to hurl through Woolworth's window, overbalanced, and fell down the manhole. Franco Berlinni, of Sora, Italy, burglar, was caught when his wooden leg got stuck in the door he was kicking down. And, in Ossett, West Yorkshire, a man pulled on a mask, leapt from his car and dashed up to the post office only to find it had been locked up for the night . . . James Smith, 72, of Chilhowie, Virginia, won dollars 10m in the state lottery and then died the next day from a heart attack . . . The Pope has 12 pairs of K Swiss Classics trainers. The laces are in gold and white, the papal colours . . . Paul Howard, 10, of Fareham, Hants, has recaptured his six pet cockroaches, six weeks after they escaped and hid in his bedroom . . . and, finally, staying with schoolboys, Mark England, 15, of Gloucestershire, discovered that his 30 centimetre ruler was only 29.2 centimetres long.

Abbott adverts dial up success

WINNING the pounds 50m BT account is far from a one-off achievement for David Abbott, the chairman and driving force at Abbott Mead Vickers. His agency went from strength to strength in the recession. While the advertising industry has been shrinking, AMV has continued to grow.

COMEDY / Talk on the wild side: Tristan Davies reviews Eric Bogosian's Dog Show at the Almeida

The sight of the solitary microphone stand was a bit of a let-down. Eric Bogosian has a couple of Obies to his name, a rave review from Frank Rich, the 'Butcher of Broadway', and he's written and starred in his own movie, the Oliver Stone-directed Talk Radio of 1988. He might at least have forked out on a decent set. Instead, it looked as though we were in for a night of standard-issue stand-up.

Snooker: Taylor cut out to be the marathon man: Griffiths ground down in Crucible

ON the basis that if you do something long enough you will eventually become good at it, the Dennis Taylor versus Terry Griffiths match in the Embassy World Championship took on a grisly fascination. No one had anticipated a quick contest when they were paired together in the second round; few had expected it would drag on to nearly 2am yesterday.

ARTS / Show People: Off the cuff and on the spot: 74. Josie Lawrence

WHEN HER own series was broadcast two years ago Josie Lawrence was filming in Italy. 'I remember the day it came out. I was in the airport and I looked at all the papers, and the previews were saying 'pick of the week - Josie's new show' and I thought, oh, oh, lovely.' The next day the reviews came out. 'Suddenly, crunch. Real, real vitriol, some of them. People said the most terrible things.'
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