Arts and Entertainment Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan in 'Kill Your Darlings'

Beyond the Hogwarts-style specs which he wears, Ginsberg has nothing in common with Harry Potter

SILENCE, PLEASE

It's Saturday morning at Kentish Town Library in London. A Falstaffian figure of a man, russet-bearded, trampishly chic, is ensconced in one of the floor-skimming armchairs, concentrating fiercely on Roget's Thesaurus. He's doing a crossword. "Undergrowth... 'Bracken' or 'thicket'. Yes, but that doesn't fit that one, which is 'sprained'... That's a film one - can't find that." Someone suggests an answer. "'Emma Peel'? Where can I find out 'Emma Peel'? Is it a current series?"

television Ellen / Frasier, Channel 4

When ambitious British films give a lead role to an American actor, the motive is usually arithmetical rather than artistic - a case of four weddings, a funeral and a co-star they've heard of in Smallsville, Wisconsin. The American networks don't need to pack their casts with illustrious British actors to lure audiences over here, so there must have been some other force at work when Ellen and Frasier both returned for second series with prominent English characters.

Stealing the show

Michael Ward has been photographing performers for 37 years. But his best shots have all been taken by accident, he tells Sarah Hemming

TV's Don't Forget Your Toothbrush proves popular abroad: Bunhill

NO LONGER, you will be glad to hear, do foreign television audiences think of Britain purely as the land of Brideshead Revisited and Upstairs, Downstairs. The latest show to have caught the fancy of Our Foreign Chums is, wait for it, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush. The format, if not the show itself, has been sold the world over, and that includes Australia and even, possibly, the United States. Of course the translations are not always exact, though they are linguistically fascinating. Most are pretty straightforward, although the Danes are more admonitory (Husk Lige Tandeborsten O) means Just Remember The Toothbrush. The Swedes are reproachful - Glom Ante Tandborsten, Forget Not The Toothbrush; while, unsurprisingly, the Germans are stern: Pack die Zahnburste ein - jolly well pack your toothbrush.

Obituary: Lindsay Anderson

MAY I add to the obituary of Lindsay Anderson (by Adrian Turner, Peter Cotes and Penelope Houston, 1 September)? writes Sir John Gielgud.

Obituary: Mark McManus

Mark McManus, actor: born Hamilton, 21 February 1935; twice married (one daughter); died Glasgow 6 June 1994.

Letter: Two-tier help for the disabled

Sir: The uproar in the Commons over NHS discrimination against elderly patients (15 April) is made all the more astonishing by the fact that both parties have been aware of, and have condoned, a two-tier system since at least 1983.

Leading Article: Sir John displays wisdom beyond his years

GROWING old is, as the main actor in that touching Belgian film Toto le Heros remarked, the best method yet discovered of not dying. Everyone copes with its ravages in their own way, but few have done so as gracefully as Sir John Gielgud. The great actor, who will be 90 tomorrow, says he does not want a celebration 'because you only make stupid speeches, bow and become covered in confusion'.

Bunhill: Supping in slendour

THINGS are certainly looking up at Midland Bank. There was a time when it could not have afforded to hire a hall to hold a celebration. But the new parent company HSBC Holdings must have injected a bit of cash into the operation since taking over Midland last year. On Thursday, 150 of Midland's best customers were at the magnificent Castle Howard, the stately hall near York featured in the television adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. The bank hired the library to celebrate 150 years of doing business in the north of England.

Education Viewpoint: Shakespeare brought to life by murder most foul

A FEW weeks ago my 14-year-old nephew phoned. An able, talented boy, he attends a prestigious local- authority grammar school that is proud of its achievements in the recent league tables.

She's so down-to-earth . . . it's spooky: Those who encounter Betty Shine's supernatural powers find it hard to remain sceptical. How can a medium talk such sense? Linda Joffee reports

Betty Shine has a curious problem at dinner parties. Invariably, some guests are reluctant to be seated next to her, because they think she will read their minds.

Letter: Weak whats?

IT IS just possible that first-night nerves caused Kenneth Branagh to say that old men had 'most weak hands' in Act II, Scene 2 of Hamlet ('The Critics', 20 December). Irving Wardle should know that what Shakespeare wrote, and we both heard John Gielgud say, was 'most weak hams' - which makes much more sense. He also gazed at the legs of Polonius, rather than his hands.

Obituary: Diana Zwar

Diana Helen Mary Plunkett, theatrical technician and manager, born London 10 April 1918, theatre manager Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, 1947-55, married 1955 Charles Zwar (died 1989; one daughter), died Oxford 2 September 1992.

Radio / Pilgrim bearing a heavy burden

THE Pilgrim's Progress (R4) returned to radio last week, bearing the burden of two great past productions: a dramatisation by Edward Sackville-West which was first produced in 1943 and then in 1977 with John Gielgud as Christian - both buoyed up by Vaughan Williams's mistily beautiful score. Peter Luke's new version is an uneasy mix of reading and drama. We have a Christian, an Evangelist, and a Worldly-Wiseman; but dismayingly many of the smaller parts are read by the narrator, Bernard Hepton - a Bunyan with a wavering West Country burr. A rich cast of extras is reduced to sameness.
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