Voices

This definition of anti-Semitism has been too stretched for too long

Lesley Sharp: The acclaimed actress on why we need more happily married couples on TV

I like playing not wholly likeable women One of my favourite roles was Louise in Mike Leigh's Naked [the stern ex-girlfriend of David Thewlis's on-the-run misfit, Johnny]. She was a fully three-dimensional woman: difficult, awkward and quirky – a much larger presence than the stereotypical roles plonked in front of a young actress.

Rake progresses to CBI president

Sir Mike Rake, the chairman of BT, is to become president of the employers' organisation the CBI, taking over from Sir Roger Carr.

Television Choices: Mothers unite to highlight the scourge of malaria

TV pick of the week: Mary and Martha

I just want to watch the Hovis TV ad, I don’t want to take part in it

Sony has launched a patent that could see the ads of the future turned into interactive videogames. But some of us already loathe pop-ups...

Andrea Riseborough: 'Reading Shakespeare is one of the things I do to relax'

My father and I shared a love of film His mother was an usherette in a cinema, and he'd watch every movie twice a week for free. I discovered the afternoon black-and-white films on TV, such as [1948 crime drama] Key Largo, at a young age. It was a very formative experience as [these films] absorb into your consciousness.

Abigail's Party, Menier Chocolate Factory, London

"Tone?  A little cheesy-pineapple one?": yes, it's that bag again.  This time, she comes in the slim-line, lime-green-gowned form of Jill Halfpenny in Lindsay Posner's vibrant, splendidly cast revival of Abigail's Party.

Why Britain's got talent once again on the big screen

The renaissance in home-grown films is down to daring directors, says Ben Walsh
Shining star: Neil Maskell in Ben Wheatley's horror / thriller 'Kill List'

Why Britain's got talent once again on the big screen

The renaissance in British film-making is down to daring directors

A slower pace in the city that never sleeps

After joining a rambling tour of New York, Johann Hari sees the city in a new light

Brenda Blethyn turns TV detective in Vera

Brenda Blethyn, everybody's favourite on-screen mother, hits the TV detective beat next month. But first, she's got one or two surprising confessions of her own.

Pub Walks in Underhill Country, By Nat Segnit

First steps for a skilful satirist
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there