<b>The Hobbit:</b> Director Peter Jackson is back at work on a two part
adaptation of Tolkein's classic tale

Peta to picket The Hobbit premiere after whistleblower reveals 'preventable' deaths and 'needless suffering' of animals on set

The premiere of the eagerly anticipated blockbuster The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will also be met with angry protests from animal rights activists after a series of animals died during filming.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Briefing...Spoof airline safety video gets 2.8m hits in 24 hours

Fight a hobbit for an aisle seat? Get life jacket instructions from a beautiful female elf? Only on a plane to Middle Earth - or in an Air New Zealand safety video.

Martin Freeman in 'The Hobbit'

One into three won't go. A Hobbit trilogy is stretching Tolkien a little too far

Is there some kind of law of modern culture that says everything must come in threes? Fifty Shades of Grey, The Dark Knight movies, The Hunger Games books, Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell books, Toy Story, The Matrix… It seems that publishers and film studios would do anything to get a franchise under way, and to tell its audience, as if they were small children, that the characters they liked will be back with more adventures next year…

Comic-Con wraps after four days of pop-art indulgence

This year's 43rd annual Comic-Con festival may be over but die-hard fans of the pop-culture celebration already have their minds on next year's show.

Anorexic must be force-fed to save life

A High Court judge has ruled that it is in the best interests of a woman who suffers from "extremely severe" anorexia to be fed against her wishes.

James Bond studios makes £3.9m loss

Pinewood Shepperton studios slumped to a £3.9m loss in 2011 after it failed in an attempt to build replicas of Paris, New York and Amsterdam on green belt land.

Billy Connolly joins cast of The Hobbit

Billy Connolly is going from Big Yin to tiny dwarf to complete the cast of Peter Jackson's movie version of The Hobbit.

Saoirse Ronan - A teenage hit girl is thinking big

At 17, Saoirse Ronan is aiming to sustain her reputation for classy roles into her adult career. James Mottram meets her

Sebold film had most complaints

Peter Jackson's dramatisation of The Lovely Bones has become the most complained-about film of the past year.

Autistic man 'let down' by council

A social services boss has apologised after a High Court judge ruled that a local authority unlawfully detained a 21-year-old autistic man by keeping him in a care unit for nearly a year.

Peter Jackson confirmed as Bradford manager

Bradford have confirmed Peter Jackson has been appointed as manager on a permanent basis.

Swinton: 'It's a horror film, a love story, a war film, not social comment'

A best-selling novel unnervingly brought to life by the British film-maker Lynne Ramsay has so far been the competition highlight of the Cannes Film Festival. Based on the 2003 book by Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin stars Tilda Swinton and is directed by Glasgow-born Ramsay, who made her feature debut in Cannes in 1999 with the acclaimed Ratcatcher and whose last film was Morvern Callar in 2002.

Problem-plagued 'Hobbit' under way

Cameras started rolling yesterday on director Peter Jackson's production of The Hobbit, after months of delays on the prequel to his Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy.

'Son not harmed by publicity' judge rules

A High Court judge gave his reasons yesterday for ruling that media organisations can attend hearings in a case involving a father's struggle to care for his autistic son. The Court of Protection rules on the affairs of people unable to do so themselves and most cases are heard in private.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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