Arts and Entertainment

Cutie and the Boxer (E) Zachary Heinzerling, DVD (82mins)

Film: Britcom targets the big screen

As 'Notting Hill' cleans up in America, Louise Jury reports on the stars of TV comedy who have their sights set higher

The enduring war

The First World War continues to haunt us. Why? A new TV series attempts to separate the myths from the bloody reality

Arts: I never talk to strangers

Don't bother trying to win over Miranda Richardson. She does the seducing, OK?

The Critics: Every film-goer's dream

Notting Hill Director: Roger Michell Starring: Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Rhys Ifans (123 mins; 15)

Profile: Richard Curtis - From gags to riches

`Notting Hill' is charming, witty, delightful. But has the writer of `Blackadder' gone soft?

Film: The Big Picture: First among sequels?

NOTTING HILL (15) DIRECTOR: ROGER MICHELL STARRING: HUGH GRANT, JULIA ROBERTS, RHYS IFANS 123 MINS

It's Notting Hill, but not as I know it

The hype has been with us ever since Julia flew in on Concorde last summer and the Portobello Road was carpeted with artificial snow. Richard Curtis rides again with not a sequel to, but a sort of reprise of, the nation's favourite romantic comedy, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Finally, five years on from Curtis's low-budget triumph, we're within spitting distance of seeing Hugh Grant scoring with another chick from across the pond.

Christmas books: Humour - You won't believe this...

Steer clear of the spin-offs, says Martin Rowson. Stick to the cartoons

Rallying: Mr Bean a vintage runner at 61

BOB BEAN first entered the RAC Rally the year England won the World Cup, 1966, long before he gained his current identity.

Altogether now... breathe

A COUPLE of years ago, I was looking for a poem of Auden's which I couldn't lay my hands on, so I went to Charing Cross Road to look for it. Foyle's was the first shop I went into, and was genuinely shocked to find the shelves bare of his books. I became angry: this great English poet unrepresented in what was once an international byword for bookshops. "Do you realise," I said, tersely, to the assistant, "that there is not a single copy of any book by W H Auden in stock?" "Yes," he replied, "and it's your fault." It was shortly after the release of Four Weddings and a Funeral. I knew that there had been a bit of a rush on "Funeral Blues", so memorably spoken by John Hannah in the film, but had no idea that Auden had literally reached the best-seller lists. It was a striking reminder of how poetry, the Cinderella of the written word, with sales in single figures, can, spoken aloud, be the most popular of all literary genres.

Don't get mad, get rational

Miranda Richardson faces a new screen challenge: playing `Mrs Normal' for once. Interview by James Rampton

In the News: Rowan Atkinson - The recluse who engineered his way to stardom

BACK in his student days, Rowan Atkinson wanted to be an electrical engineer. It is an image that is hard to match with the rubber-faced comedian whose alter-ego, Mr Bean, is one of the best-known comic creations on British television, writes Kate Watson-Smyth.

Rugby Union: The serious side of Blackadder

The captain of the team they call the second best in the world has one ambition - to play for the best team; David Llewellyn talks to the leader of the first-rate All Black Second XV

CINEMA: A half-baked Bean who should have stayed in Britain

Mr Bean is the world's most popular in-flight entertainment, and understandably so. Half-asleep between bouts of air-sickness is undoubtedly the best way to watch it. But now Rowan Atkinson has brought his creepy TV character to the big screen, his audience no longer has the option of taking off the headphones and reading a book instead.

Mr Magoo with malice

The puerile Mr Bean has made it from TV to the big screen, from London to Los Angeles. But the idiot's-eye outlook he offers remains the same
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
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McKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
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people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
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Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
people

Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

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news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
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