Arts and Entertainment Emma Thompson arriving for the National Board of Review Awards in New York

The actor Emma Thompson has spoken out this week in favour of gender-blind casting, admitting her particular desire to play the role of Sherlock Holmes.

Julia Roberts was asked to remove two freckles for a movie role

Julia Roberts asked to have 'dirty' freckles removed for film

The actress was once advised to get rid of her facial markings for a movie role

Old favourite: Judi Dench in 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

Rise of the silver-haired screen: Older people take largest share of cinema audiences

Likes of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel helped to drive the over-45s to the cinema

Andy McSmith's Diary: It’s hard being an MP and getting the flak for a pay rise that never comes

What really annoys MPs is that the executives at Ipsa who control their salary are so much better paid

Ruksana

Here come the girls: A new documentary follows nine girls around the world in their quest to get schooling

It’s been a surprise hit in the US, and not just because it has A-list narrators...

The 87-year-old former prime minister is expected to spend Christmas in hospital, after being operated on three days ago to remove a growth from her bladder after suffering pain earlier in the week.

Baroness Thatcher 'recovering' after minor surgery to remove bladder growths

Baroness Thatcher remained in hospital today as she recovered from minor surgery.

Baroness Thatcher to spend Christmas in hospital

Baroness Thatcher is said to be “in good spirits” as she recovers from minor surgery but is expected to spend Christmas in hospital.

Publicist to the stars Lois Smith dies

A long-time New York City publicist who worked with celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford and Martin Scorsese has died. Lois Smith was 85.

Nathan Cassidy is giving audiences £1 to see his show 'Free Pound' on the Free Fringe

Alice Jones' Arts Diary: Edinburgh acts' funny money offer could raise a smile on the Royal Mile

Murky things are happening on the Edinburgh Fringe – and it's not even August yet. This year's fastest-emerging trend is for bribery with three acts offering cash in return for bums on seats. Nathan Cassidy is giving audiences £1 to see his show Free Pound on the Free Fringe (ticket cost: "minus £1". Donations welcome). Elsewhere, Mark MacNicol has gone for a money-back clause: if audiences don't like his "sexy, sensual, dark" theatrical take on Fatal Attraction, he will refund the £8 ticket price from his own pocket. And Irish comedian Caimh McDonnell has taken the most audacious route, promising to donate £100 to Macmillan Cancer Relief for every review published in a "recognised media source" before 20 August (only one review per outlet, sadly). Will any of these stunts work? Or will it emerge that these are, in fact, shows you couldn't pay a man, woman or Arts Diarist to see? And whatever happened to old-fashioned flyering on the Royal Mile in the rain?

DVD: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

When his father (Tom Hanks) is killed on 9/11, a precocious boy sets off around New York in search of people with the surname "Black", believing that one of them will impart a message from his dead dad.

Grant says: 'My five-year plan is to stay alive, and to stay working. And to stay married. A three-pronged attack on all fronts'

My Secret Life: Richard E Grant, 55, actor

My parents were... understandably worried when I told them that I wanted to be a professional actor, because in Swaziland, where I grew up, there was no prospect of earning a living doing that.

DVD: The Iron Lady

Weirdly, Phyllida Lloyd's Iron Lady devotes just half of its running time to Margaret Thatcher's upbringing and political career.

Julia Roberts in Mirror Mirror

Julia Roberts - Pretty woman shows her ugly side but still comes up smiling

Julia Roberts is cast against type as a wicked queen in her new film, Mirror Mirror. The Hollywood favourite has more starring roles coming up but tells Lesley O'Toole that she's now happy to treat acting more like a hobby

Julianne Moore plays Sarah Palin in the new US drama ‘Game Change’

Palin feared the worst about TV portrayal – and she was right

Juliannne Moore is cast as Alaska's presidential hopeful in a recreation of 2008 election race

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album