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

First Night: Hamlet, National Theatre, London

Here comes the son, with ghosts of Hamlets past

Nicola Horlick sets up script development investor group

Nicola Horlick, one of the most prominent women in the City, is to set up a company that develops film scripts, with the help of a few of her Hollywood connections.

From William Gillette to Benedict Cumberbatch: The changing face of Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has remained in the popular consciousness for nearly 125 years. The tales of murder and intrigue have endured because they enthral readers, viewers and listeners today as much as the Victorian audiences they were written for.

Sherlock Holmes: Why mess with the fabulous Baker Street boys?

Holmes and Watson are back in a BBC drama. The reasons we shouldn't update them are elementary, says Gerard Gilbert

Dom Joly: Septics just love my Cockney rhyming slang

I'm in New York again and have been filming all week. I haven't done any hidden camera stuff for ages and it takes a little getting used to. When people ask what it's like doing this kind of comedy, I can only equate it with a bank robbery. There's quite a lot of pre-planning involved, but there are also a swathe of unknown factors that you can never fully control. The tension before you are about to film is extreme – once done, however, you get a huge adrenalin rush followed by a subsequent crash. As we are packing a lot of filming into the week, I am totally exhausted from the experience.

Sarah Sands: They think it's all over for pubs. It isn't now ...

It was the interval of the distinguished As You Like It at the Old Vic last Wednesday afternoon and the audience was frantic to know the score. I legged it past the cafés and shops to the one place I knew wouldn't let me down.

Elementary, my dear boy: An investigation into Sherlock Holmes' early years

Arthur Conan Doyle never explained why his most famous creation was a 'drug-addicted bipolar maverick' – but Andrew Lane, the author of the new Young Sherlock Holmes series, is following a few leads...

UK film industry warns against tax relief removal

The film industry brought in billions of pounds to the UK economy last year but a cut to tax breaks could see growth collapse, according to a report from Oxford Economics.

Dress Code: Jenny Beavan, Costume Designer

What are you wearing right now?

A homage to M & S! All black - it is safest when one is not the smallest - and some good ethnic silver necklaces.

DVD: Sherlock Holmes (12)

Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law make an unlikely pairing in the latest incarnation of the detective and his sidekick, Dr Watson, but by gum it works. The sleuth investigates murders that seem to have been carried out by Lord Blackwood, a worshipper of the dark arts. The only problem being, the peer had been executed before the spree. The tale may not be from the pen of Arthur Conan Doyle, but is an enjoyable romp, rattling along at a cracking pace, and the look of Victorian London is sumptuous. Fans of the source material might cry foul, but this is a welcome – if slightly leftfield – addition to the Holmes canon, and, after a fallow decade, a return to form for Guy Ritchie.

Nobody's mug: How did Eddie Marsan become Hollywood's go-to man for great British character acting?

Eddie Marsan would probably agree that his face is his fortune. He is one of those film actors you can't always put a name to, but you'll instantly recognise that cartoon countenance: wide with low ears, flattened nose and crestfallen mouth, liable to look meek or mean depending on how the wind is blowing. It is the sort of face that nature has provided with its own stocking mask.

DVD: Sherlock Holmes, For retail & rental (Warner)

In Guy Ritchie's rollicking adventure, Holmes (Robert Downey Jnr) is reinvented as a wild-eyed, unhygienic crackpot, while Watson (Jude Law) is a tough war veteran with a gambling habit and a love-hate relationship with his barmy flatmate.

It's been emotional, Guinevere: Ritchie to take on Camelot

Classic King Arthur tale to be 'reimagined' for modern audience by Guy Ritchie

Simon Carr: Rich, powerful and generous with his verbosity

He could hang Istanbul off his charm bracelet. He's probably got golden bones

Carola Long: Brangelina and a 21st-century myth

This couple fulfil the desire to see own lives played out in glossy form
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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
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
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What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
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A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
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Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

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We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

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The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

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