Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

The week in radio: Never mind the lows, the highs are cosmic

As autumn arrives, with its swirling winds battering our dark and chilly mornings, it is once more open season for attacks on Radio 4. The old chestnuts are unearthed, steeped in vinegar and given a spin in ritual combat. Thursday's much-leaked RAJAR statistics discern a sharp fall in listening figures and the pundits are quick to condemn, blaming uncomfortable schedules, over-reliance on focus-groups and mistaken allocation of funds. Some wail that the network is debased by idiot quiz shows while others find it boring, inaccessible and stodgy. Dumbed down or lectured up, all agree that it is definitely not what it was.

Much binding in the Guildhall

The six novels shortlisted for the Booker Prize have been specially bound by an elite squad of bookbinders.

Bus driver shortlisted for Booker

First-time writer gives established novelists run for their money in big literary prize

Chris Smith attacks 'elitist' Booker

CHRIS SMITH wants a new populist literary award to be established because he believes the Booker Prize is "too elitist".

Reading Review: Short but not sweet

Martin Amis

Have you heard the one about the oriental fantasy?

Jack O'Sullivan on the identikit booker shortlist

Arts: Booker list continues an Indian love affair

The shortlist for the Booker Prize, fiction's premier award, was announced yesterday. Big-name novelists such as Ian McEwan and Jeanette Winterson have failed to make the last six, but, as David Lister reports, for debut novelist Arundhati Roy, it is a dream come true.

Book review / Spilt personalities

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan, Jonathan Cape, pounds 15.99

WAYS WITH WORDS AT DARTINGTON HALL: 11-20 JULY

IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Books: Ways With Words literature festival

The Ways with Words literature festival at Dartington Hall in South Devon offers nine varied days of literary events in one of the country's most beautiful settings. Between 11 and 20 July, from 10am to 10pm each day, the medieval Great Hall and courtyard will be the venue for talks debates, readings and interviews. Among more than 200 writers taking part this year will be Ian McEwan, Jung Chang, Mary Wesley, Louis de Bernieres, Anthony Clare, Rose Tremain, Kate Adie, Marina Warner, Roy Strong and the Independent's Polly Toynbee and Suzanne Moore.

The Week on Radio: Dark visions of Utopia

Considering that it's meant to be an ideal state, Utopia has a terrible image. When you label something or somebody Utopian, you don't usually mean it as a compliment - as a rule, what you're getting at is that it's either hopelessly optimistic or unavoidably authoritarian. So the challenge Michael O'Donnell sets his guests on Utopia and Other Destinations (Radio 4, Saturday), in which they are asked to expound their personal vision of the ideal state, is to find a place that sits somewhere between those two poles - to design a version of Nowhere that might be Somewhere we would want to live.

Girls will be girls

GUT SYMMETRIES by Jeanette Winterson, Granta pounds 15.99

Letter: Solidarity with Turkish writers

Solidarity with

Theatre; Duchess of Malfi Wyndhams, London

The Duchess of Malfi is one of the more frequently performed non- Shakespearian tragedies in the English repertoire. Indeed, the Wyndhams Theatre has now played host to Webster's drama twice in the one year. "I am Duchess of Malfi still" - "Yes, and don't we know it, dear," you're tempted to respond as, for the umpteenth time, you award her the Mrs Miniver trophy for stoic fortitude.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEATS

John Keats was born on 31 October 1795, and to celebrate the bicentennial there's a wreath-laying ceremony in Westminster Abbey (Keats was only admitted into the pantheon in the 1950s!) with readings by Victoria Glendinning, Ian McEwan, Michele Roberts and Keats biographer Andrew Motion (6pm, 31 Oct, details 0171 976 0983).
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 23 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
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
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
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
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
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert