Arts and Entertainment

With stand-up dominated by the one-comic-and-a mic-form of observational humour, it's little wonder that some comedians are seeking more alternative modes of expression to set themselves apart. The Boy with Tape On His Face distinguishes himself with a joyously retro presentation of silent, performance-led humour, while the bestowal of the Edinburgh Comedy Award on Phil Burgers last year, for his mute, sexualised and playfully scary bouffon Dr Brown, echoed and endorsed the stand-up circuit's burgeoning interest in clowning.

Steve Richards: The coming 'Yes' vote will be explosive

I cannot see voters rejecting the chance for change in a referendum when the anti-politics mood is so strong

Firth expected to reign at BAFTA awards

The final preparations for today's Baftas presentations are under way with more than 1,000 canapes being prepared, 540 magnums of champagne on ice and some of the biggest names in showbusiness getting ready to walk the red carpet.

Terence Blacker: The upstairs, downstairs society

Pin-striped and in a chauffeur-driven car, Andrew Neil has been driving around Britain in search of privilege. In this week's BBC documentary Posh And Posher: Why Public School Boys Run Britain, he argued that, after a couple of decades of relative classlessness, meritocratic Britain is pretty much dead. It was the closing of grammar schools which caused the problem.

Culture Club: Readers review The King's Speech

Readers review this week's big film

'King's Speech' tops UK box office

Colin Firth film The King's Speech has notched up another victory by topping the UK box office.

The King's Speech (12A): The IoS review

Firth's stammering monarch is a sh-sh-shoo-in for an Oscar nomination

King's Speech carries British indie film awards

Colin Firth's new film, The King's Speech, scooped five gongs at the Moet British Independent Film Awards last night.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1: Mixed cauldron from critics

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1, the latest instalment of the blockbusting series, attracted mixed reviews from the nation's top film critics today.

Meet Oscar, the misogynist

Hollywood's leading women say movies tipped for Academy Award success are biased towards male actors

DVD: The Gruffalo (U)

A ridiculously starry cast – including Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, James Corden and Robbie Coltrane – voice this witty adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's children's tale of a shrewd little mouse who outwits a ravenous snake, owl and a fox with the threat of a gruffalo, a creature with terrible claws, orange eyes and purple prickles all over its back. In the old days, one voice – Bernard Cribbins, say – would have voiced the whole lot, no trouble, but this was the centrepiece of the BBC's Christmas schedule so they threw the kitchen sink at it.

Helena Bonham-Carter

In an item in Amy Jenkins's column last Saturday, 'One big happy family three separate houses' (27 February 2010) Amy Jenkins wrote that Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton live in two separate houses next to each other and that the nanny and two children live in a 'third house in the same street'. In fact the entire family live together in a single home that is fashioned from three adjacent former artist's studios.The comment that this arrangement is 'not so much eccentric as chilling', is unfounded and we accept that Helena Bonham Carter is a caring mother and apologise to her for suggesting otherwise.

Curiosities of Literature, By John Sutherland

Though every page testifies to the well-stocked mind of Sutherland, it is particularly revealing of his chain of thought.

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

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'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

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England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

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Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

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The fall of Rome?

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