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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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor