Voices

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

Backing UK movies offers investment action

Matrix Securities put up the money for Mike Leigh's latest film, `Career Girls', and a new version of `The Professionals'. Cathy Newman reports on tax-efficient investments in television and films. A year ago Rupert Lywood, a former chartered accountant, and David Royds, a former stockbroker, came up with the idea of providing investors with a tax-efficient way to invest in British films. Three anonymous individuals contributed pounds 1.3m between them to get Mike Leigh's current film, Career Girls, off the ground; and 28 investors have come up with the majority of the pounds 11m budget needed for a follow-up to the Seventies TV series, The Professionals, which will star Kal Weber, Colin Wells, Lexa Doig and Edward Woodward.

Comment: overheard

It's quite good now. She looks like she's been punched and has a bloody nose.

The Big Picture: Nostalgia merely obscures the truth that life is not so sweet

Mike Leigh's flawed but witty Career Girls follows a reunion between old pals Hannah and Annie, whose wistful recollections of their early friendship seem incongruous until the root of their emotional bond is revealed

You may have met these two somewhere before

Mike Leigh's trick is to turn his characters into real people. He's done it again with his new movie. Suzi Feay meets the actresses who play the `Career Girls', while, overleaf, we revisit the infamous Beverly, 20 years after `Abigail's Party'

Like totally spontaneous

Every time you think you've got him taped, Mike Leigh delivers another surprise. His latest film, `Career Girls', is no exception. And, as the director tells Ryan Gilbey, he himself can be as surprised as anyone by the way things turn out

The trick is to survive

Fame first knocked on Bernard Kops's door 40 years ago but she's been been a long time coming back. Now, with a new play in London and a Hollywood script under way, it seems that at 70 he has survival down to a fine art.

Thugs fuel boom in baseball bat sales

Sales of baseball bats are booming in Britain - not because of any enthusiasm for the all-American ball game, but because they are the ideal weapon for thugs who want to hand out a beating.

HOW WE MET; ALISON STEADMAN AND JANINE DUVITSKI

Alison Steadman, 50, was born in Liverpool. She separated from her husband of 23 years, the director Mike Leigh, last year; they have two sons. She lives in London. Janine Duvitski, 44, was born in Morecambe. Her partner is the actor Paul Bentall; they have four children and live in Richmond, Surrey. Both actresses have made numerous cinema, theatre and television appearances, and are particularly well-known for creating the roles of Beverly and Ange in Mike Leigh's classic comedy `Abigail's Party', first televised in 1977. Alison and Janine are currently working together on a production of Sir John Vanbrugh's Restoration comedy, `The Provok'd Wife', at London's Old Vic theatre

DEFINITIVE VIEWING: TV EYE: A MAN OF MANY PARTS

Warren Clarke has got one of those "it's on the tip of my tongue" faces. You've seen him in hundreds of things before, but you can't quite put a name to him. He's solid rather than starry - and admits as much. "Thank God, most of the time I'm unrecognisable," he laughs. "I've even been accused of not being Warren Clarke. Somebody once came up to me for an autograph and said, `I love all your work, Mr Elphick'. I could have said, `I'm not Michael Elphick, I'm Warren Clarke', but it wouldn't have been worth it. They'd just have said, `Warren Who?'"

Pauline Calf: a psychopath who loves a nibble

PETER YORK ON ADS: No 178: McVITIE'S RIVA

Festival salutes 'shy' Bergman

Ingmar Bergman lived up to his reclusive image when he failed to appear to receive his prestigious "Palm of Palms" award at the 50th Cannes Film Festival.

The cup result that made Des sick as a Pavarotti

Arts notebook

Mike Leigh's secret is revealed

This is the first time that anyone has had a Bafta award for anything of mine. I've only had two nominations before ... for that reason I've let my membership lapse

Triple triumph for Mike Leigh comedy

Mike Leigh's comedy Secrets and Lies made up for its failure in the Oscars by scooping three Bafta awards last night, including best actress for Brenda Blethyn. The English Patient also won three awards, though it had been nominated for 13.

TO HAVE ... AND HAVE NOT

Films made outside Hollywood litter the nominations for the 1997 Oscars, to be awarded in Los Angeles tomorrow night. But will a historic bias towards local product hold sway? ill a historic bias towards local product hold sway? ? Four of the nominees for Best Picture Oscars are either foreign or 'independent' - which means far more economical, less beholden to big money, and closer to being the work of uncompromised individuals
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?