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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan