News Apologising for using the word to describe her white son, Madonna claimed that it was meant as a term of endearment

After initially dismissing as 'haters', those who criticised her for using the racist term to describe her white son, Madge later said sorry

Lara Pulver with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes mystery: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate and the case of character licencing rights

Sherlock Holmes would have unravelled the case in a heartbeat. Yet so far there is no explanation as to why the estate of the fictional detective’s creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has failed to fight a lawsuit in the US that could leave it out of pocket.

Watch the winning entries from a stranger sort of student filmmaking competition

Can recycling might be something of a whimsical subject, but when the can-making industry decided it wanted to sponsor a competition for budding student cinematographers, they got an incredible response.

Housing: Bovis warns over boost for lending

A new price bubble could be fuelled by government initiatives to prop up the housing market, the chief executive of Bovis Homes warned today.

Too much hanging around: 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol'

Cut! Why it's time to snip the bloated blockbusters

Today's action films are way too long to be truly enjoyable, says Daniel Bettridge

How is Samantha Cameron breaking into Hollywood? Elementary, my dear Watson

Smythson – the upmarket stationery firm that employs PM's wife – turns to product placement
Samantha Cameron was behind Smythson's Nancy bag and its red diary which is in a new Sherlock Holmes film, starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr

How is Samantha Cameron breaking into Hollywood? Elementary, my dear Watson

Smythson – the upmarket stationery firm that employs PM's wife – turns to product placement

Zoë Kravitz

Screen Talk: Beginning of the end

Given the apocalyptic weather and natural disasters that hit parts of the world in 2011, many movies in development reflect harsh prospects for humans on earth.

‘Getting back into football sorted me out,’ says Vinnie Jones

Vinnie Jones: The caring side of bullet-tooth Tony

The Brian Viner Interview: No, Vinnie Jones has not gone soft living in La La Land, but he helps newly-arrived Brits in Hollywood, wants to curb anti-social behaviour and has a plea for his old mate Gazza

Two's company: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson in 'Sherlock'

The case of the amazing reinvention: On set with the stars of TV’s Sherlock

Even his creator failed to kill the world's greatest detective, so it's no surprise that he is back, most notably in the new series of the BBC's acclaimed updating. Gerard Gilbert goes on set with its stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

Madonna gets ready to cause a commotion in Venice

The star's latest film will premiere at this year's festival. Kaleem Aftab reports on the rumours of a troubled production

Last Night's TV: Seven Dwarves/Channel 4</p><p>Wilfred/BBC3

When Channel 4 announced that it was dropping Big Brother two years ago the Channel's head said that filling the hole it left in the schedules would involve "the most fundamental creative overhaul in our history". So, what are they treating us to in the week that Channel Five throws open the doors to the Big Brother house for the first time? One of the "event dramas" they promised?

Minor British Institutions: Pyjamas

Pyjamas have seen something of a revival these past chilly winters. Not the mimsy ones in pastel colours whose principal existence now is in the parallel world of modesty-conforming television bedrooms, but the full flannel, with stripes, cord and top pocket (for your hanky, of course). What could be more comforting and more secure (so long as you've tied the cord properly) while the ice grips and the wind whistles without?

It's hip-hop's turn to hijack scrabble

When did Scrabble get so twee? Everyone's favourite word-game has been hijacked by the indie-pop crowd that shows no signs of relinquishing "Scrabble Sundays" and DIY letter-jewellery. Isn't it time that verbally dextrous hip-hop claimed a triple-letter-score or two?

Guy Ritchie's home taken over by squatters

Guy Ritchie's £6 million London mansion has been taken over by squatters.

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A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works