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
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried