Arts and Entertainment

A boy enters a palace of a hundred rooms where an assassin may lurk behind every door and shadowy figures are reflected in a Hall of Mirrors.  An astonishing treasure lies at its heart, but powerful enemies are at the gates.

Television: Funny in retrospect

Two men, one box of props and the entire history of the 20th century: the National Theatre of Brent is back

Art; PRIVATE VIEW

The Wilkie Tradition to 24 Dec Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh

Long to reign over us, God save Tony Blair

`This is the first British government containing senior ministers who are not instinctive monarchists'

We are all too busy rewriting our histories

I HEAR there is a growing rumpus in some quarters over the remarkable film East is East, written by the actor and playwright Ayub Khan-Din. The story is set in Salford in 1971 and revolves around a working-class family that runs a small fish and chip shop. Only this family is of mixed race, with a Pakistani father, George Khan (known as "Genghis" to his children), a white wife, Ella, and seven children, who are all struggling to survive in the confusing world they live in - bell-bottoms, insistent imams and all.

Letter: Already history

ALAS, DR MORELAND (Letters, 1 August) is far too late to protest against the decision of exam boards to phase out pre-modern history. The boards are not denying any student the right to study medieval history. They are simply responding to the fact that students are not entering for these exams. Academics tend to think that, because exam boards offer syllabuses, students must therefore be studying them. This is not the case. Medieval history has already reached the point of no return, social and economic history is in decline, Tudors and Stuarts are strong only in the private sector, and even Napoleonic and 19th-century British history are under pressure as numbers drop.

Serendipity Out of one's depth

THIS afternoon, while reading Steven Pinker's How The Mind Works, I suddenly uttered a stream of expletives. After almost a decade of failure, I had at last witnessed my first Magic-Eye image.

THE AGREEABLE WORLD OF WALLACE ARNOLD: Never trust a man with a fringe, even on 'Blue Peter'

I am not a man to sadden easily. The second last time I shed a tear was when I heard that the young Mark Thatcher was lost in the desert. And the last time I cried was when I heard he'd been found. But it saddens me very deeply to read that Mr John Noakes (dread name!) has been casting aspersions on that most notable of television programmes, Blue Peter. Tears? Just a few.

France honours last of Britain's Great Warriors

THEY MIGHT be the last patrol: quite possibly the last of their generation to cross the Channel in such numbers.

Body piercing craze 'threatens children'

MINISTERS ARE being urged to introduce guidelines to prevent children having their bodies pierced without their parents' consent.

Essay: Snobs, prudes, hypocrites? Not the Victorians I know

We do our 19th-century forebears a disservice by ascribing so many ills to them.

Historical Notes: The lamentable legacy of royal parenting

"THE HOUSE of Hanover, like ducks, produces bad parents," Owen Morshead, a former Royal Librarian, once observed. How so? "They trample on their young."

The ticklish problem of a zzzzz and two noughts

Go on, I challenge you all to think of a major event which happened at the change of a century

Something to look forward to - post-millennium tedium

No batsman likes to be out in the nineties, no queen likes to be outdone by a century

Letter: The British Army camps were not genocide machines

JAN MORRIS, who has written extensively about the Empire, is wrong to describe Rudyard Kipling's "Recessional" as a response to British "hubris" about the Boer War. The poem was written in 1897, two years before the war started, to counter the complacency and triumphalism displayed on Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Though Kipling clearly saw the faults of British organisation and tactics during the Boer War, and admired and respected some Boer fighters, he was a fervent supporter of the war who thought the repressive measures against Boer civilians didn't go far enough. Anyone who thinks he was soft on this issue should read his story A Sahib's War.

At last, the truth about George

GEORGE ELIOT: THE LAST VICTORIAN BY KATHRYN HUGHES, FOURTH ESTATE, pounds 20
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?