Arts and Entertainment

Mario Testino’s talent with a camera must be maddening for other photographers working in a highly competitive field, but he remains one of the most revered stars in his profession. Testino has a natural ability to float effortlessly from studio to backstage to after-party, producing stunning shots in any kind of situation. From royals to mega-celebrities, Testino has shot some of the world’s most inaccessible subjects, always with an ease that betrays the complexity of the task. When Testino gets “in your face” he captures you at your best — and that is what makes him the best.

His Dark Materials, Birmingham Rep, Birmingham

Call me earth-bound in my imagination but I'm not entirely sure why Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials has exerted quite such a hold over so many readers worldwide. The story revolves around Lyra and her adventures with her pal Will as they drop in and out of parallel universes against an intricate backdrop of storylines involving physics, philosophy and religion. Added to this is the dangerous search for the source of Dust. (That's panpsychic particles of self-awareness.)

Kathy Marks: From Australia ... an epic let-down

The film was meant to define the national psyche. Such hubris ...

Philip Hensher: Please can I be Nigella's friend?

I don't know about you, but we've been enjoying Nigella Lawson's hired friends so much we think they ought to make a sitcom about them. You know the ones I mean. Nigella, in the course of her multi-evening Christmas spectacular, has been slaving in a négligée over some white-trash pot dish – turkey stewed in 7-UP can't be far away. She sprinkles some random coriander over the top, and hands it out to her guests. The Hired Friends Of Nigella Lawson. Scrub the bit about the sitcom. It sounds like an existential tragedy by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

Great Gatsby to get the Moulin Rouge treatment

Luhrmann to make 21st-century film version of Fitzgerald's classic

Australia (12A)

Big, empty, and a long journey

Luhrmann epic 'still not finished'

Baz Luhrmann says his epic Australia is still not finished.

Nicole Kidman: 'I've been through a lot in my life'

Her career has arced from gauche newcomer and Tom Cruise's wife to stardom in her own right. Now, the Baz Luhrmann epic Australia is a spectacular homecoming for the actress. She talks to Elaine Lipworth

Beale's Best in show: Tourism Australia

Baz Luhrmann probably considers himself an artist. He makes big commercial movies (Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge) but he also makes commercials (Nicole Kidman in an ad for Chanel No 5). And now he’s made an ad for Tourism Australia.

Christian protests may leave Philip Pullman's trilogy as one of a kind

Perhaps it has disappeared through a window into another universe, like its characters.

Celebrity baby: Solomon Grundy's got nothing on poor little Sunday Rose

Among the upper echelons of superstardom it seems the fashion for naming your child something downright ridiculous has not died down. As if Fifi Trixibelle and Peaches Honeyblossom were not bad enough, now Nicole Kidman has bestowed on her daughter the unwanted gift of the name Sunday Rose. At first this fate seems passable, until you learn that she was born on a Monday.

Nicole Kidman gives birth to girl



Nicole Kidman gave birth on a Monday to a baby girl named Sunday.

The Golden Compass, Retail & Rental

The makers of 'The Golden Compass' have taken the 'Supermarket Sweep' approach to adapting Philip Pullman's fantasy novel, in that they charge through it, grabbing as many of the key scenes as they can, without pausing to consider whether those scenes fit together to make a coherent film.

Margot at the Wedding, 15

The ultimate black comedy: a family

Paperback: Made For Each Other, by Bronwyn Cosgrave

Bloomsbury £8.99 (308pp)
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own