Arts and Entertainment

Raised in rural County Clare and educated in a convent, Edna O'Brien fled to swinging London to become a novelist. Her frank, autobiographical debut, The Country Girls (1960), caused outrage back in Ireland, but O'Brien considered it a necessary step in her “daring emancipation”.

A tribute to Elizabeth Taylor

The fascinating life of Hollywood's last superstar

Hollywood mourns the ultimate celebrity

Tributes have been pouring in for Elizabeth Taylor, who died yesterday

Dame Elizabeth Taylor: Actress whose life and career made her the last of the great Hollywood stars

Since the late 1960s the nebulous concept of stardom has been subjected to a systematic inflation of values. In a routine television series, for instance, the status of some obscurely minor supporting performer is frequently aggrandised into that of "guest star"; many of the freakish menagerie of hangers-on who peopled Andy Warhol's Factory-produced psychodramas complacently styled themselves "superstars"; and Barry Humphries' alter ego, the redoubtable Edna Everage, has risen almost imperceptibly from the humble rank of "housewife" to that of "megastar".

Staircase, Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Fifty-odd years after it was written, Charles Dyer's blackly comic two-hander finally arrives in Scotland.

Ingrid Pitt: Actress and writer who escaped from East Germany and became 'England's first lady of horror'

Statuesque, tawny-haired Ingrid Pitt will be remembered as the buxom actress with exotic looks and an intriguing accent who brought an overt sexuality to Hammer horror, as the star of the studio's first film to concentrate on female protagonists, The Vampire Lovers (1970). She also starred in Countess Dracula (1971), based on a real-life case, in which she played the title character, who drained girls of their blood to retain her youth. After that, her cult following labelled her "England's first lady of horror".

The Exorcist uncut: Secrets of the scariest movie ever made

The Exorcist has been terrifying audiences for decades. But the dark secrets of its making are only now coming to light. Guy Adams reveals the truth of a horror classic

Great lovers: Heights of passion - Part two, N-Z

What causes some relationships to echo through the ages? Their joy? Their intensity? Their resilience? Or their triumph against the odds? Ariane Sherine concludes our two-day celebration of true romance by choosing 25 more couples who, in different ways, embody the power of love

Richard Burton: In from the cold

Richard Burton wasn't just another over-hyped hellraiser with a tawdry love life and a legacy of lousy movies. Look again at the star who brought beauty to the screen, says Geoffrey Macnab

First person: 'I have witnessed 20 exorcisms'

Matt Baglio, 35

Ken Annakin: Film director whose 50 films included 'The Longest Day' and 'The Battle of the Bulge'

Ken Annakin directed over 50 films, ranging from documentaries and popular British hits, such as Holiday Camp and Miranda, to epic international productions including The Longest Day, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines and The Battle of the Bulge.

Braeroy has easier chance at Didmarton

Point-to-point

Marriage scene: Ingmar Bergman's 'Scenes From A Marriage'

Quiet hell of a rotten relationship

The Collector Of Worlds, by Iliya Troyanovtrans William Hobson

Through Asia and Africa with the invisible man

Look Back in Anger, Jermyn Street Theatre, London

A black Jimmy Porter? Why not? Most people are at ease now with the principle of colour-blind casting. Jimmy Akingbola is an accomplished actor so why shouldn't he portray John Osborne's archetypal angry young man.

Point-to-point: Greenall to close on record with Chorizo

The men's champion, Oliver Greenall, has sound chances at both this weekend's meetings as he attempts to beat the record of 54 winners set by Ashley Farrant in 2004.

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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected