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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Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
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Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
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Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice