Student

If you have to sit them, you may as well try and pass them too...

Projectile dwarf case thrown out

Bosses take lessons in comedy

THE ART of stand-up comedy is the new weapon in the battle for corporate success. Jongleurs, the comedy club chain, is to offer lessons to executives who think that a sense of humour might give them a competitive edge.

The Knack: HOW TO JUDGE A BOOK

BY NATASHA WALTER, 1999 BOOKER PRIZE JUDGE

Burger revamp

PLANET HOLLYWOOD, the hamburger chain whose investors include film stars Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, is filing for bankruptcy protection in the US as it plans a $30m (pounds 18m) rescue package to revamp the company. Planet Hollywood's founder and chief executive Robert Earl plus major investors Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, of Saudi Arabia, and Singaporean property magnate Ong Beng Seng will contribute to the rescue. In return they will receive a 70 per cent stake in the reorganised company. The group ran into financial problems after expanding too quickly in 1996 and 1997.

Film Studies: Once a movie-maker, always a money-grubber

The greatest failing in how we think about the movies has always been in under-estimating the money. Not just the amounts, but the gravitational pull of the dollar, and the way it alters even a great artist's sense of himself and reality - and the balance between the two. It is hard to make a good movie; but it is harder still to get oneself in a position of being able to try. That is because, to most of the important collaborators on a project, they are making a product, with merchandising spin-off. And it is likely to cost $50m. But there's a jewel of comfort in that absurdity: you are getting $2m. So keep a straight face.

Obituary: Sylvia Sidney

WITH HER wide, soulful eyes, high cheekbones and tremulous lips, Sylvia Sidney was an ideal heroine for the Depression, during which she was frequently a working-class girl stoically dealing with deprivation or a wayward sweetheart. Her intense portrayals of innocence and vulnerability in such films as An American Tragedy, Street Scene and Dead End invited enormous sympathy, and, though she occasionally tried to break the mould, the public came to associate her with moist-eyed suffering.

`Godfather' of literature dies

MARIO PUZO, the writer whose Mafia-theme gifts to American literature and to Hollywood included The Godfather, died of heart failure at his home in Long Island, New York, last night. His latest book, Omerta - Sicilian for code of silence - is due to be published next year. He was 78.

Obituary: Edward Dmytryk

Dmytryk's finest film was Farewell, My Lovely - some consider Dick Powell's interpretation of Philip Marlowe to be the screen's definitive portrayal

Obituary: DeForest Kelley

THE WRY mouth, blue shirt and catchphrase "He's dead, Jim" made the American actor DeForest Kelley famous worldwide as Leonard "Bones" McCoy, the spaceship's doctor in the cult television series Star Trek. The humane medical officer offered slight comic relief to the cold logic of pointy-eared Vulcan Mr Spock as the crew of the USS Enterprise aimed "to boldly go where no man has gone before".

Books: Losing sight of a man who knew best

Hitchcock's Secret Notebooks by Dan Auiler Bloomsbury pounds 20

Film: White men can't joke

...or at least that's what a black pressure group said about Coonskin. The cartoon's director begs to differ.
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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album