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Hogwarts or hotel standards? Jim Kelly discovers why boarding schools are fashionable again

Theatre Review: Rambling through the past's muddy fields

I Am Yours Royal Court

Why Cracker sank over the Atlantic

Tonight British audiences can see `Fitz', the made-for America version of `Cracker'. It was hailed as a triumph for Granada - but the series was pulled mid-run in the US. Rob Brown reveals why.

False memory ends sex assault case

A sex assault prosecution was dropped yesterday after experts advised that the alleged victim could be suffering from False Memory Syndrome, partly triggered by storylines in the television series Brookside and Cracker.

The Coltrane sideshow

For Robbie Coltrane's tough shrink they stand for hours and eat mud. Jim White mingles with extras on the set of 'Cracker'

ITV admits defeat in the battle over 'Cracker'

MATHEW HORSMAN

The man who raped Sheila Grant

`I'm not particularly fascist or racist or homophobic, you know - I try to lead a good life'

`Cracker' censured for 9pm sex scene

Cracker, the popular ITV drama series starring Robbie Coltrane and made by Granada Television, was censured by the Independent Television Commission yesterday for starting an episode at 9pm with a scene of sexual intercourse.

TELEVISION / What a sight - not an insight

YOU ARE having a nightmare. Your Auntie Elsie, never previously seen beyond Belper, has strayed into New York fashion week. She has that squiffy sherry look and has just buttonholed one of the world's top designers. He is lightly tanned, succulent with success: he gives Auntie a get-this-woman-outta-here smile. You rush forward to plead with her to take off the ginger wig and come home. But your nose hits the TV screen. This is not a nightmare. Well, it is; but not one starring your aunt.

TELEVISION REVIEW / An arresting lesson in dramatic finesse

THE MOST familiar writers' gripe at the moment is that if you're going to arrest the attention of a commissioning editor you have to call in a policeman to do it. Like all gripes, it's an exaggeration, but this is a bad week to try and refute it, a week which has offered three police dramas in as many days. The gripe also assumes, as a given, that genre fiction puts handcuffs on the imagination of the writer. With Wycliffe, Wexford and A Touch of Frost fresh in the mind you wouldn't hastily deny that, but again, it's a bad week for the theory. As Jimmy McGovern proved with Cracker (ITV), and J C Wilsher with Between the Lines (BBC 1), it isn't the genre that matters so much as what you do with it. Now both series are back on our screens again.

TELEVISION / 'E's a lovely lad, that Bob

FOR 'an epic story of love and ambition', Seaforth (BBC1) has a mundane sort of title. It sounds like a reconditioned Onedin Line, or that form at school into which they lump the boys who spend geometry lessons tattooing themselves with a compass: C Fourth. Nowadays, Bob Longman (Linus Roache) would be just another C Fourth yob. But we are in the 1940s and he is the Bad Boy of Seaforth Town. Mind you, 'e's 'ad it rooff: dad dead, mam on the sauce, bairns coughin' and no chance of a quiet fag on the lav without t'Army sending in recruitin' posse. One night (they don't stretch to much daylight in these parts), this artful draft-dodger breaks into a posh house and is gnawing on a ham when he is caught by Paula, the virtuous maid (Lia Williams). As she remonstrates with him, a bomb drops in and the villain of the piece becomes the hero of the hour, snatching Paula from the flames but cruelly condemning her to a lifetime licked by the hot tongues of passion. No use raising an eyebrow, never mind an objection. Those whom the entire annual budget of the Special Effects Department hath thrown together, let no joyless critic put asunder.
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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
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
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried