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

'People can behave curiously. A good concierge holds his tongue'

Quick-thinking under pressure? Resourceful in the extreme? You might just have what it takes to be a hotel concierge, says Simon Usborne

Certainly m’Lady! Michelle Obama requests Downton Abbey series three early

Having been so busy on the campaign trail up until last week, you can understand why America’s First Lady Michelle Obama is keen to curl up on the sofa with a decent box set.

Currie says: 'My greatest regret is not persuading my colleagues that eggs were a problem - I persuaded the public, but my colleagues thought I was the problem. They were wrong.'

My Secret Life: Edwina Currie, 65, author

'I want to cuddle Boris Johnson'

Rory McIlroy competes in the ProAm tournament yesterday

'I value rest as well as money' Rory McIlroy tells his detractors

Rory McIlroy tees off at the Singapore Open today requiring a top-three finish to seal the European money list. Having already claimed that mantle on the PGA Tour, McIlroy would emulate Luke Donald last year in doubling up.

Downton Abbey: Fellowes’ biggest success would also qualify, as it has a British cast and makes lavish use of Highclere Castle in Berkshire

Fellowes plans to boost Downton's ethnic diversity as series ends on record ratings high

Downton Abbey creator would like to introduce black or Asian characters into the period drama set in an English country home. 

'Fine and well' Dame Maggie Smith dismisses heart scare reports

Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith has dismissed reports she was at the centre of a heart scare.

Daphne Slater as Elizabeth Bennet in 'Pride and Prejudice' (1952)

Daphne Slater: She played the first television Jane Eyre

Daphne Slater was just 19 when the critics praised her Juliet at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon.

Meat cleavers at dawn: Imelda Staunton beats Sweeney Todd co-star Michael Ball to theatre awards gong

He may have been the demon barber brandishing the cleaver, but Imelda Staunton has been proven stronger than her Sweeney Todd co-star Michael Ball after she beat him to win best performance in a musical at the Theatre Awards UK.

Julie Walters attends the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Julie Walters insists on comfortable corset

Julie Walters has revealed how she loosened up on the set of her upcoming period film Effie - by demanding a more comfortable corset.

Scenes from an Execution, Lyttelton, National Theatre, London

“It's death to be understood,” declares Galactia, the 16th century artist-heroine of Scenes from an Execution. But the fact remains that this 1986 play is one of Howard Barker's most accessible and stringently witty works - a searching study of the fraught relationship between artist, patron, critic and political culture. 

Marek Larwood: Typecast, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

“I’m sick of playing people who have been hit by spades”, laments Marek Larwood in his debut solo show. It’s not clear whether he is offering this slapstick stereotyping as a reason for his permanently startled expression, but there’s little doubt that the 36-year-old has a face for comedy.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Adelaide Clemens star in Parade's End
Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall in Parade's End

Cumberbatch brands last Downton series 'atrocious'

Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch has launched a verbal tirade against Downton Abbey calling its second series "fucking atrocious".

Homeland to battle Downton for top Emmys

America's love affair with British television drama continues to flourish after a host of UK talent received Emmy nominations, with Downton Abbey leading the charge.

Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Miranda Hart, George Rainsford and Pam Ferris in Call The Midwife

Midwives bicycle across the pond in Downton Abbey's wake

American viewers couldn't get enough of the class snobbery and grandeur of Downton Abbey. But will the misery of the East End's post-war slums prove quite as appealing when Call The Midwife becomes the latest British drama to cross the Atlantic?

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'