Arts and Entertainment

Tomorrow’s DVD release of Alpha Papa is a reminder that films based on television shows needn’t be On-the-Buses bad. Other honourable examples of the genre are The Inbetweeners Movie (2011), In the Loop (2009) and South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999).

Screen scene

"I want a boyfriend who won't go crazy on me. That's all I want!" cries Carol the waitress to her mother, who answers, `That's what we all want. But it doesn't exist." That's because the "he" in question, an obsessive- compulsive writer in the comedy As Good As It Gets, is the father of all crazy guys: Jack Nicholson.

How publishing's newest wonder ended up on the dole

Two months ago Keri Beevis was hailed as one of the literary phenomena of recent times with, according to her publishers, a record first book deal worth pounds 750,000 waiting to be signed. Today, The Independent can reveal, she is preparing for a different kind of signing - signing on for the dole. Kim Sengupta investigates the story behind the hype.

The amazing maze of maize

Chris Maslanka guides us through the labyrinthine complexities of mazes, large and small

Gotham City comes to Battersea as Batman and his foes fly into town

The Caped Crusader and Robin are back. Paul McCann reports on the hype for their new movie

Football: Molby turns ugly ducklings into Swans

Phil Shaw meets the Dane whose first full season as Swansea player- manager may end in promotion at Wembley today

The man who invented Jack Nicholson

Director Bob Rafelson saw Nicholson's potential as an actor back in the Sixties, and the resulting collaboration has endured for 30 years. It continues with the release of `Blood and Wine'. Where next?

`Chief' leads from front

Chief, chief, chief." The monosyllabic homage paid by the Pontypridd faithful to their latest rugby folk hero is hardly the most imaginative sporting chant of all time - it makes "Swing low, sweet chariot" sound like a Verdi opera - but it may just be the most appropriate. The surge of noise from the Sardis Road terracing is dark, aggressive and threatening, which more or less sums up Dale MacIntosh, the subject of the adulation.

Ruth Picardie's Column

John Lyttle is not here. So this week, a heterosexual interlude with Ruth Picardie

A century of cinema fangs

Feminism apart, Wilderness is not exactly exploring uncharted territory, Ivan Waterman writes. Werewolf films date back to 1913, when the Canadian director Henry McRae hired Watuma, a Navajo, to become a wolf for his silent adventure.

Nuisance caller: barnets, starlets and old dogs

"Hi. I'd like to book an appointment with Nicky Clarke. Do you do hair relaxing?"

Even if I was Batman, I wouldn't be cool all the time, says the writer of `Father Ted'

I was travelling back to central London from Heathrow, my suitcases in the back of the taxi (I hadn't been flying, I just sometimes like to go to the airport with lots of suitcases), when I looked to my left and saw something that actually made me do a real double-take. Just like in a movie - I performed the full "Whu-whu-what-the" triple double-take. Driving alongside us, effortlessly drawing level with the taxi, was a silver BMW driven by two ... what looked to me like ... well, two 12-year- old children. And it was two 12-year-old children. Two boys. All right, maybe in their teens but only just. Their little necks straining so they could see over the dash. One pair of hands white-knuckled on the wheel.

Women and men: can't live with him ...

... can't live without him - or her? Don't despair. You don't have to share a front door to prove you're in love, says Elisabeth Winkler

Jack of all trades - and all classes

Goodbye Tracy and Wayne, says Ruth Picardie. Today's parents have other aspirations for their kids

It's getting tougher at the top

With US elections on the horizon, the role of president has never been subject to greater scrutiny. Even by Hollywood. Rob Reiner, maker of Spinal Tap, is taking a positive view.
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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

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Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

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Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
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Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
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Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

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Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

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Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

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UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power