Arts and Entertainment

There is a certain pleasure (however smug) in being ahead of the curve when spotting a particularly gifted writer, and a certain regret when the masses catch up with your discovery. The latter, of course, is the state desired by author and publisher, and Peter May has now made the transition from connoisseurs’ taste to popular bestseller.

Just for Laughs - Final Day

Au revoir Montreal - but not before he is risen. Yes, the big JC, John Cleese, was in town a few days later than planned to head up a gala of Canadian and US comedians as opposed to leading out the British contingent he was meant to before a prostate complaint prevented him.

Just for Laughs: Day Six

The chance to see comic Martin Short was one of the things I was most excited about when I was leafing through the press material for this year’s Just for Laughs.

Just for Laughs: Day Five

Since I landed in Montreal, last Monday night, I have kept the clock on my mobile phone to English time. This might explain why my body this week has been asking me questions like: What time is it really? Why are we up so early? Why are we up so late? When can we next have another shower/sauna/steam room session? As if the cacophony of an average of fifteen comedians a day weren’t enough.

Britcom Gala Just For Laughs, Theatre Saint-Denis, Montreal

A bout of prostatitis prevented John Cleese from hosting this showcase for UK talent at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. The British comedy icon was due to be one of the event's big draws, along with the US stars Bill Cosby and Whoopi Goldberg, before illness struck and hospitalised him, although he is due to make a rescheduled appearance before the festival ends.

Just for Laughs Festival: Day One

All the action from the world’s second-largest comedy festival

Album: Lhasa, Lhasa, (Warner Music)

She's American-Mexican but lives in Montreal. She was responsible for the very lovely folk-latin The Living Road in 2003. She sings in a slightly fragile, flexuous contralto voice. She's all tone.

Nikolski, By Nicolas Dickner, trans Lezer Lederhendler

Spaced out and all at sea in Canada

Killer Kowalski: Hard man of American professional wrestling

In an era of great American wrestling villains, Killer Kowalski could stand on the podium with his contemporaries George Walker (better known as Gorgeous George) and Dr Jerry Graham.

Green thorn for White House will be sorely missed

Death of Phil Clapp is severe blow to environment campaigners in US

The Vice Squad: How 'Vice' magazine became the new teen bible

'Vice' magazine has been redefining style and pushing back the frontiers of taste for 15 years with images of nudity, death, drugs, war and more. Its creators say they're in the great tradition of satire – telling their readers what the mainstream media won't dare to. Really? Charlotte Philby reports on a new exhibition of its provocative photographs

Album: Kaki King, Dreaming of Revenge (Velour)

Kaki King's unorthodox approach to the guitar has already secured her a guest spot on the last Foo Fighters album, and a Golden Globe nomination for her soundtrack to Into the Wild.

Foreign minister of Canada quits over 'biker's moll' girlfriend

The curtain came down yesterday on the brief and embattled cabinet career of Canada's Foreign Minister after a scandal involving his relationship with a woman who was once linked to criminal biker gangs.

Gay diver breaks Australian sporting taboo

Australia's cities all boast thriving gay communities, and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which recently celebrated its 30th birthday, has become a mainstream cultural event. Yet Australian sport remains a bastion of heterosexuality – on the surface, at least.

Buying overseas: Call of the wild

Want wildlife plus a luxury log cabin? Try buying in Canada's Laurentian Mountains, suggests Laura Latham

Flight of the Red Balloon (PG)

Commissioned by the president of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, this small, inconsequential drama stars Juliette Binoche as a Parisian single mother caught between her career as a stage puppeteer and the care of her young son (Simon Iteanu) and his new nanny (Song Fang).

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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
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Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

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A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
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Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

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Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
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Europe's biggest steampunk convention

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Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

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