Meryl Streep

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.

Alice Jones' Arts Diary: Edinburgh acts' funny money offer could raise

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?

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.

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Australia's fourth inquest opens in Azaria Chamberlain dingo case

A coroner today opened Australia's fourth inquest into the most notorious and bitterly controversial legal drama in the nation's history: the 1980 death of a nine-week-old baby whose parents say was taken by a dingo from her tent in the Australian Outback.