Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Ralph Fiennes

'Blackly comic' Rowling book far from Harry

JK Rowling was not joking when she said her next book would be "very different" to the magical world of Harry Potter. Yesterday it emerged her first novel aimed at adults would follow parish council elections in an English market town. The celebrated British author's first book in five years will be called The Casual Vacancy, and will be a "blackly comic" tale of an idyllic English town at war itself, the publishers revealed.

Branagh's film legacy honoured

The veteran actor and director Kenneth Branagh said he was "thrilled and excited" as he was honoured for his role in British film-making last night.

Tom Felton is first of Harry Potter stars to bag a blockbuster role

With the Harry Potter valedictory lap, replete with fans declaring their childhood officially over and photo-montages tracking its junior cast from pre-teen to young adults, finally over, people may be surprised that the franchise's first youngster onto their next blockbuster role, isn't Harry, Hermoine or Ron, but their scheming nemesis Draco Malfoy, aka actor Tom Felton, with his lead role in new prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Minghella, genius of the screen, dies at 54

Anthony Minghella, the film director whose work included The English Patient and Truly, Madly, Deeply, died yesterday, aged 54, after suffering a haemorrhage at Charing Cross Hospital in London following an operation last week for a growth in his neck.