Arts and Entertainment Carey Mulligan would snap up a role in ITV period drama Downton Abbey if given the chance

The British actress admires Julian Fellowes after he helped launch her career

Leading article: A surfeit of crinoline

When a politician says it's not about the money, you know – say observers of American politics – that it's about the money. You could say the same about the BBC and ratings. When their spokespeople insist, as they did yesterday, that it's not about the ratings, you can be pretty sure that this is indeed exactly what it's about – in this case the plummeting number of viewers for Emma, its latest costume drama.

The Word On... Wuthering Heights

"With [Peter] Bowker reportedly – literally – taking a Stanley knife to the original book in order to arrange it into a coherent and hence more transferable-to-screen timeline, he butchered some of the original essence and culled some of the characters too." - primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk

Roderick Floud: Costume dramas give a false picture of the size people used to be

What are the most obvious changes to have occurred in the shape of the human body in recent centuries? TV costume dramas are notable for their attention to detail, to the most minute aspects of costume or furnishings. But there is one aspect of the past which, unavoidably, they get wrong. The actors are too tall and, usually, too fat, properly to portray historical characters.

Barry Lyndon (PG)

First released in 1975, and now showing at the BFI, this is Kubrick's most beautiful movie, and his most touching.

Story of the Scene: 'Chariots of Fire', Hugh Hudson (1981)

When location manager Iain Smith turned up on the beach at St Andrews at 5am in the morning, he assumed the shoot would go smoothly this time round. The opening shot for Chariots of Fire showed the athletes in training, running through the sea. Since the film is set in 1924, all signs of modernity had been meticulously removed. Then Smith glanced up at the horizon and saw a British Navy frigate anchored offshore, dominating the bay. He had to get rid of it.

The Last Mistress, 15

That's one way to make history our favourite subject: Catherine Breillat's latest film is part an essay on 19th century mores, part melodrama, and part outright deviant sex tale – with laughs

Sport on TV: Tall story of spider man is a costume drama

Alain Robert drives his family up the wall. The world's greatest "urban free solo" climber has scaled 80 of the world's tallest buildings without using any equipment, just his hands and feet. He has an arrest sheet as long as his arm, which in his case is very long from all the trauma he puts his muscles and tendons through.

Dawn Alford: My Life In Media

'My parents had hopes I'd be a Betty Boothroyd. I wanted to be the next Judy Garland'

A N Wilson: Why can't we bury the hatchet with Thatcher?

Many of the Iron Lady's greatest supporters were notable buffoons

Christopher Prins

Actors' favourite costumier
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

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People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
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Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

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Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

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2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

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Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas