THEATRE / Tennessee Williams and his women

'THERE IS no actress on earth who will not testify that Williams created the best women characters in the modern theatre,' wrote Gore Vidal after Tennessee Williams' death in 1983. He also said: 'It is widely believed that since Tennessee Williams liked to have sex with men (true), he hated women (untrue); as a result his women characters are thought to be malicious creatures, designed to subvert and destroy godly straightness.' With the opening tomorrow of Sweet Bird of Youth opens at the National, the debate will no doubt reopen.

Centrefold: A shot in the park: Animal antics caught on film. But what's the big idea?

Jack Daniels was surprised to be asked how he managed to get this spaniel to leap through the air. 'I knew he could do it,' he said, 'because he'd been through the casting process and he'd proved himself. He was bouncy and full of energy - perfect for the part.' In the last six years Daniels has built a reputation for a winning way with pets - using vivid colour and ridiculously wide angles to produce the kind of eye-catching and often hilarious images advertisers kill for (the flying spaniel is being used to advertise Spillers dog food). A selection of his portraits are now included in Animal House, a group exhibition at the Association Gallery.

Sssh, Major's just tiptoed into town

HE SIGNED himself in the hotel visitors' book as 'John Major, Downing Street, London SW1', for all the world as if his surprise at becoming Prime Minister has still not worn off.

Health: Drunk? But not a drop passed my lips]: Did you know that you can get tipsy simply by breathing in the fumes from other people's booze? Rob Stepney looks at the risks and possibilities of passive drinking

FED UP with passive smoking at parties? Why not try passive drinking instead? It may sound improbable - and do not expect a traffic policeman to believe you at the roadside - but it seems that significant amounts of alcohol can enter the body simply by breathing in the fumes.

Christmas Presence: A voyage round my Father Christmas: Andrew Graham-Dixon on why Miracle on 34th Street reduces him to tears every year

I watch Miracle on 34th Street, which I made the mistake of taping several years ago, every Christmas. Recently, this annual ritual has become so embarrassing that I have had to make sure that I am alone for its 94-minute duration while I sniff, snivel and - most conspicuously when Edmund Gwenn's Santa Claus cheers up a pitiful Dutch orphan by singing to her in her own language - periodically give way to dreadful but relieving sobs. Neighbours have been known to enquire whether anything is seriously wrong, whether there has been a death in the family, whether they can help. No, but thank you, I tell them. I am just watching a video.

TELEVISION / Sixties sister calls the grey army to battle

'NEVER trust anyone over 30,' the Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman once said, a phrase that is positively intoxicating if you are 18 years old but somehow loses its appeal as the years trundle by. Should we trust Germaine Greer, now 53 and hectoring us from a fresh barricade, or should we take her assault on youthism (for Without Walls' series 'Bad Ideas of the 20th Century') as the self-interested moan of a woman who's reached a certain age?

TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Life is the name of the game . . .

Rik Mayall used to be a standard- bearer for alternative comedy, challenging the complacent comic establishment of panto, time-share endorsements and double-glazing ads. On The Young Ones, he appeared in a send-up of pro-celebrity golf. In a neat inversion, he now plays MICKY LOVE (9pm ITV), an old-fashioned, middle-aged gameshow host keen on golf whose primetime slot is threatened by a young 'raw, out-there, happening, in-your-face' comedian (Alan Cumming). In the first of Granada's trilogy Rik Mayall Presents, Love foresees a terrifying vista of afternoons presenting celebrity noughts and crosses and gardening quizzes. Peter Morgan's smart script picks up on the minutiae of life in the media. A drama producer in the executive dining-room complains in passing: 'Morse, Morse, Morse, that's all I ever hear. Can you make it more like Morse?' In period clips, Love is seen swigging Jack Daniels with a dolly bird on each arm and urging the Sex Pistols to say something outrageous. He talks to his wife in gameshow host catch- phrases. The only quibble might be the similarity between Love's network and Network.

Allied ends distribution agreement with Seagram

ALLIED-LYONS is further tightening its grip on the distribution of the 42 million cases of wines and spirits it ships annually, writes John Shepherd.

Bunhill: Gone crazy

Political Correctness strikes again. In a last spasm before the elections, the US Congress prohibited the use of the word Crazy Horse as the brand name of a whisky on the grounds that it was insensitive to a member of a Native American group - to wit, Crazy Horse, the leader of the Oglala Sioux tribe. But Messrs Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker et al remain unprotected, presumably because they are merely White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

Curtain set to fall on rock music's 'best club'

NEXT Thursday Keith Richards will take his red plectrum, his bandana and his bottle of Jack Daniel's out for a rare public airing. Like almost 200 bands a year, Richards has chosen to play at the Town & Country club in Kentish Town, north London.
Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
three nights from £259pp Find out more
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice