A night of a thousand absent stars as Golden Globes lose their lustre

In any other year, it would have been a glittering night for British talent at Hollywood's Golden Globes: acting prizes for Julie Christie and Daniel Day-Lewis, Ricky Gervais's Extras named the best comedy on television, and the biggest recognition of all, the award for best dramatic picture, going to Atonement, Joe Wright's adaptation of an Ian McEwan novel.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Actuaries put to shame as staying in equities saves BT pension scheme from catastrophe

Productivity: don't blame planning laws; Insider trading: an intractable problem

How interesting: 'QI' is surprise Christmas hit

Not all the critics were convinced when Stephen Fry began hosting QI, a kind of posh and severely eccentric pub quiz on BBC2.

French starlets sue director over casting-couch exploits

AN AWARD-WINNING French film director was sent for trial for sexual harassment yesterday, accused of forcing young actresses to make explicitly sexual "test films" for his own "personal pleasure".

Three wise men and a baby, plus John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate and Mary: what a lineup!

In the Christmas rush you probably don't get the time to catch all your regular TV and radio programmes, so here is a transcript of the special Christmas edition of Melvyn Bragg's `Start the Week' which is going out on Radio 4 this very Monday!

From Saints and martyrs to Rupert Bear

THE SUNDAY WALK: Canterbury, cradle of Christianity and birthplace of a children's favourite, is in festive mood. By Leigh Hatts

Book review / Jesus Inc: a different sort of family business

JAMES THE BROTHER OF JESUS: Recovering the True History of Early Christianity by Robert Eisenman, Faber pounds 25

Show me the way to go home

JAMES THE BROTHER OF JESUS by Robert Eisenman, Faber pounds 25

ROCK OPERA Jesus Christ Superstar Lyceum Theatre, London

Sir Henry Irving would doubtless have savoured the irony in our having to wait until the second coming for the reopening of his Lyceum Theatre. But imagine his confusion upon entering the newly refurbished auditorium (and contrary to advance reports, it is neither bright nor garish but rather subdued, musty, like an old theatre) to discover the audience seated but work apparently still in progress. Primitive wooden scaffolding shrouds the stage boxes and proscenium, the elaborate gilding visibly decayed and decaying as Sir Henry's pride and joy appears to vanish into an unfinished excavation. The remains of a Roman arena (designer John Napier) have been hewn from a backdrop of crumbling earth and rock. We're digging out the past.

Unholy row over Radio 1's comic Nativity

HOLY Cow! Radio 1 is about to tell the Christmas story in the American strip-cartoon style of Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Judge Dredd.

Attacks on Christ film rejected

Viewers have flooded a television watchdog with complaints about Channel 4's screening of the controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ, it was disclosed yesterday.

Arguments for Easter: God can fill only the empty cup: The Bishop of Edinburgh, the Right Rev Richard Holloway, ends our series of meditations for Easter with this sermon, preached in St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh.

SOMETIMES the absence of a loved one seems to be more powerful than his or her presence. As my children left home, one by one, I would enter their rooms and try to touch the memories of their childhood and bring them back to mind. I knew a widow who kept her husband's chair exactly the way it was the night he died, with his half-smoked pipe still lying in the ashtray on a table beside it. Even whole cities can powerfully suggest the absence of one we love. A great friend of mine from Boston in the United States died some years ago and when I visit Boston I am overwhelmingly aware of his absence. The place seems empty, like the tomb Mary Magdalene found when she came seeking Jesus on the first day of the week.

BOOK REVIEW / True stories of good and evil: Jesus - A N Wilson: Sinclair-Stevenson, pounds 15; Jesus the man - Barbara Thiering: Doubleday, pounds 16.99

'WHAT IS truth?' asks A N Wilson in his exhaustive attempt to unravel the tangled web of Jesus's life as it is presented in the Gospels. 'Getting into the right frame of mind in which to understand the New Testament is not easy,' he says ominously, and indeed I had not realised how hard it could be. Gone are the holy pictures, ox and ass and swirling angels; nothing is simple, and truth and belief, like the kingdom of heaven, are only to be found within the questing, individual spirit.
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