Arts and Entertainment

Julian Fellowes, DVD

Andrew Maxwell finds independence a laughing matter

Edinburgh comedy review: Andrew Maxwell's Banana Kingdom - Alex Salmond, and the funny side of medieval theology

A year before the referendum,  Andrew Maxwell deserves credit for doing material about Scottish independence, not least because he’s a London-based Irishman whose jokes could easily divide the room. But such is his skill, charm and Banana Kingdom’s faultless construction that he takes the crowd with him.

Sophie McShera,as kitchen maid Daisy, enjoys the thrill of the new

Heads Up: Downton Abbey Series 4

Fresh faces, sex, class and period costume ... it's the 'Abbey' habit

Dame Maggie Smith by James Lloyd, 2012

Dame Maggie Smith (reluctantly) agrees to have her portrait painted

A portrait of veteran actress Dame Maggie Smith has gone on display at the National Portrait Gallery today.

Emeny to take the helm at Fuller, Smith & Turner

Fuller’s, brewer of London Pride, was set up 160 years ago and has over 400 pubs

Adele and Mrs Robbie Williams bond over babies at the Golden Globes

“Oh my god! Honestly, I’ve come out with my friend Ayda, we’re new mums, we’ve literally come out for a night out,” Adele told the audience on Sunday, at full Bond-diva volume, after collecting her Golden Globe for Skyfall.

We are now entering the twilight zone... films that finally acknowledge old age

At last, says Christina Patterson, some new films that actually acknowledge old age

The Weekend's Viewing: A Downton substitute and The Killing returns to its roots at the death

The Making of a Lady, Sun, ITV1 // The Killing III, Sat, BBC4

Harry Potter shop to open on platform 9¾

Wand-er through the magical store from Saturday

DVD & Blu Ray: Downton Abbey: Series 3 (12)

Julian Fellowes's prettier version of Upstairs, Downstairs, above, irritates in a gazillion ways, notably with its absurd script and dunderheaded plotlines.

The right side of the tracks: Dustin Hoffman stars in HBO's 'Luck'

'Lazy' Dustin Hoffman inspired to direct another film

Dustin Hoffman has revealed the "dreamlike" response to his directorial debut has inspired him to get behind the camera again.

Rowling vows to write for children again

The best-selling author J K Rowling has vowed to continue writing and promised that her next published book would be for children.

Fifty Shades outsells Potter on UK Amazon

E L James's Fifty Shades trilogy has outsold J K Rowling's Harry Potter series on Amazon's UK site. James has sold more than four million copies of her books in print and on Kindle since they went on sale in March, making her the bestselling author of all time at Amazon.co.uk.

Shirley MacLaine gives Downton 'extra frisson'

Austerity, Irish republicanism and a formidable arrival from America in the form of Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine will provide the latest challenge to the Crawley family when Downton Abbey returns in August.

Revealed: Austerity, the IRA and Shirley MacLaine to feature in third series of Downton Abbey

Austerity, Irish republicanism and a formidable arrival from America in the form of Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine will provide the latest challenge to the aristocratic Crawley family, when Downton Abbey returns to screens.

Harry's Back: Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe

Revealed: Harry Potter is the Antichrist!

Boy magician is being portrayed as the Devil in disguise in Alan Moore's latest graphic novel

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Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
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Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
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Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003