Emma Soames: It's time to unlock talent for the older generation

I wouldn't want to be ghettoised but I don't think anybody watches one single channel these days. We are all channel surfers now and older viewers have very firm views about quality. BBC figures show more people watch television when they are over 60 than any other demographic.

Meet the new action heroines

Angelina Jolie is the latest Hollywood actress to take on a role originally written for a man – a trend that is growing fast

Leading article: Screen test

What a tireless ambassador Helen Mirren is for Britain. First she charmed Hollywood with her portrayal of our sovereign in The Queen. And now she's standing up for the British character abroad too. "We're not snooty, stuck-up, malevolent, malignant creatures as we're often portrayed" Mirren has told an audience in Los Angeles. "We're actually kind of cool and hip."

The Last Station, By Jay Parini

One may not have thought that the last days of a 19th-century Russian writer, decrepit with age, described from the point of view of his histrionic wife of 50 years, his disciple, assistant and doctor, all fighting over his estate, would be the stuff of popular historical fiction.

The Last Station (15)

The Last Station is like Chekhov dumbed down for a tea-time serial.

Mariah Carey: 'Music was my escape'

Controversy never seems far from Mariah Carey – so she's hoping that a fresh foray into acting will generate more positive headlines

Queens of the small screen

Helen Mirren won an Oscar as Elizabeth II and now five more actresses are to play her on television. Is it time to re-bottle the monarch's mystique? By Gerard Gilbert

Likely suspects for a prime job

Who will play DCI Jane Tennison in a US adaptation of the hit British police drama? Gerard Gilbert examines the evidence

Pandora: Off with his head! Frears tackles Blair

Given the frequency with which he has portrayed him, one might imagine that Stephen Frears, director of those Tony Blair-centric films The Queen and The Deal, would have a rather favourable view of the former prime minister.

First Night: Phedre, Ritzy Cinema, Brixton

The curtain's up and the stars of stage are on the silver screen

PoverTee Day: Go casual, beat hunger

Wear a T-shirt, donate at least £2 to charity – and help the world's poor. Nina Lakhani explains all

The Independent Film Forum: 12. State of Play

Our film forum is your chance to pass judgement on a recent release. Here's a selection of your views on Kevin Macdonald's remake of the BBC drama.

State of Play - exclusive clip

In advance of the release of State of Play today, we have an exclusive clip from the film.

Directed by Kevin Mcdonald ( The Last King of Scotland), the film is tense political thriller set in Washington. It stars Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams.

The film tells of a journalist's probe into the suspicious death of a US Congressman's mistress. In this scene, the journalist played by Russell Crowe has a swift encounter with the politician played by Ben Affleck.

The Rachel McAdams capers

Playing an ambitious blogger in 'State of Play' and the inamorata in a new Sherlock Holmes film is all in a day's work for Rachel McAdams. The actress talks to Lesley O'Toole
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee