News Sir David Attenborough: 'I promised I would do something'

It's a theory that hasn't been proposed by politicians yet

Dr Peter Capaldi is a real family guy

Inside Television

York students cause offense after 'blacking up' for 'Cool Runnings' Halloween costumes

University of York is considering disciplinary action

Don't read this alone: Imgur user posts creepy pictures of secret stairs hidden behind a bookcase... and someone is living there. Or is this just the most terrifying online hoax ever?

Pictures purport to show a set of secret stairs hidden behind a bookcase, along with photographs suggesting someone may be living in the walls

Twin Towers costumes, a llama and a sombrero: How to do (or not to do) drunken tomfoolery

This week we’ve seen the best and worst sides of drunken excesses. What have we learnt? Just like in life: llamas good, racism bad.

Birmingham University's Guild of Students bans “racist” Halloween outfits

Students wearing Mexican, Native American and Sacha Baron Cohen costumes were all turned away from an event

The 10 Best Halloween costumes for kids

From scary Draculas to cosy skeletons and cute little pumpkins, we select the best dressing-up clothes for your children

The News Matrix: Monday 14 October 2013

President’s brain operation successful

Actors wearing specially commissioned Halloween style masks representing the damaging effects caused by smoking, approach members of the public in London, to promote a stop smoking campaign this October by online clinic HealthExpress

Commuters in for a surprise after outbreak of 'zombies' in London to warn smokers of dangers of tobacco

Thirty actors wore specially commissioned Halloween-style masks as part of a stop smoking campaign

Asda's apology: What on earth can have possessed it?

'Mental' costumes show how quickly we tend to dismiss the unfamiliar
The costume has now been taken off Asda's website

Asda and Tesco's Halloween costumes: Censoring the word ‘mental’ just adds to the stigma

One in four of us has earned the right to make light of our suffering

The Village's Maxine Peake

Actress Maxine Peake turns to goth rock music

She is best known for starring in Silk and The Village but Maxine Peake has another, darker, string to her bow. Away from the cameras, she has been recording songs about the Pendle witch trials with The Eccentronic Research Council. The Sheffield collective, led by musicians Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer, asked the actress to narrate their concept album 1612 Underture last year. “I never expected I would perform it”, Peake tells me.

Coronation Street star Chris Fountain suspended over 'totally unacceptable' secret rap alter-ego The Phantom

25-year-old who plays Tommy Duckworth said he is 'deeply ashamed' of the lyrics which boasted about acts of rape and violence

Kick-Ass 2: Suited and booted for hardcore villainy

Kick-Ass 2: Suited and booted for hardcore villainy

A costume partly inspired by Marilyn Manson may be the most spectacular super-villain get-up ever seen in the movies. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who dressed up as superhero Red Mist in Kick-Ass, has ventured to the dark side in the upcoming sequel and is inspired to take on the evil pseudonym The Mother F%&*^r by donning S&M gear he discovers hidden inside his dead father's gun case. Costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ says it was the most complex costume to create out of the dozens made for the action thriller: “We played around with the texture and the zips. The idea was to not have a cross-dressing feel. When he first puts on the underwear and holds the guns, oddly he didn't look that bad. We looked at people who dressed up in that hardcore rock look – Marilyn Manson, My Chemical Romance and the guys from Green Day – and tried to mix it with S&M gear in a way that tried to make it look like a superhero.”

The Undiscovered Country: Journeys Among the Dead, By Carl Watkins

A cultural history that reflects on the traditions that surround our final journey – to the coffin

Cocaine given to trick-or-treating children - perhaps it's the neighbours we should be worrying about

Every year the subject of trick-or-treating arises at Halloween, but this year a story far more alarming has been added to the debate.

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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk