Voices

Fans will undoubtedly buy tickets, but let's hope it isn't a massive let-down

David Bradley

Production moves to the trenches

Putting on a brave front: Behind the scenes of the BBC's epic adaptation of 'Birdsong'

Countless attempts have been made to bring Sebastian Faulks' 'Birdsong' to the screen over the past two decades – and all have failed. Sam Peters went on set to meet the plucky team battling to ensure this epic First World War adaptation has been worth the wait.

The 12 most-viewed 2011 video articles

As newspaper reporting enters an age where it is as much about multimedia as it is about print, the videos Independent.co.uk readers have been most interested in this year provide a diverse snapshot of what you want from televised news.

Christopher Paolini, 27, who started writing when he was 15

Bookshops gear up for the great 'Inheritance' rush

Not since the final Harry Potter book has a children's novel been so keenly awaited.

Last Night's TV: The Pendle Witch Child/BBC4<br />Who Do You Think You Are?/BBC1

As hills go, Pendle, in Lancashire, surely punches above its weight when it comes to looming. A long un-risen loaf of moorland, it isn't particularly high or particularly distinctive in shape. And yet it has an undeniably foreboding presence in the landscape, accentuated on screen by the fact that it's very rarely depicted without a heavily filtered sky. They got so carried away with the effect in The Pendle Witch Child, in fact, that there were times when it looked as if it was wearing a black cap of overcast – not inappropriate given the fact that quite a few of the film's subjects ended up dangling from the end of a rope.

Potter casts one final spell on Bloomsbury

As fans waved goodbye to Harry Potter with the release of the final film in the series, the teen wizard once again cast a spell over publisher Bloomsbury, whose sales "surged" in response.

Tom Felton is first of Harry Potter stars to bag a blockbuster role

With the Harry Potter valedictory lap, replete with fans declaring their childhood officially over and photo-montages tracking its junior cast from pre-teen to young adults, finally over, people may be surprised that the franchise's first youngster onto their next blockbuster role, isn't Harry, Hermoine or Ron, but their scheming nemesis Draco Malfoy, aka actor Tom Felton, with his lead role in new prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

My Edinburgh: Paul Daniels, magician

Even though I love coming to Edinburgh at any time, I particularly love coming in August, when the wonderful madness of the Festival combined with the Fringe turns this beautiful city into a cross between Rio and Disney. Debbie and I had only been here for two days when we looked at each other over dinner and at the same time, with big grins on our faces, said: "Isn't this exciting?"

Mr Men books mark 40th anniversary

The Mr Men are celebrating their 40th birthday today.

Fake Potter accounts sold

Internet scammers are selling fake user accounts for the as yet unopened Harry Potter website, Pottermore.

Boyd Tonkin: Harry Potter and the magic brand

The week in books

Poetry, Lee Chang-dong, 139 mins (12A)

In a novel for the screen, a woman's luck goes from bad to verse

Saoirse Ronan - A teenage hit girl is thinking big

At 17, Saoirse Ronan is aiming to sustain her reputation for classy roles into her adult career. James Mottram meets her

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (12A)

Readers review this week's big film
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there