Carry on up the revolution

The Scarlet Pimpernel seems melodramatic. But the writers have toned down the original. By Robin Buss

Radio: Heard on air

"Caviare caveat emptor" - that's clever stuff, Nigel. What are you doing listening to this?

Christmas books: Film - Sinking under the weight of the first hundred years

Alistair Owen struggles titanically with guides and histories

Two takes on a decadent city; Monday Books

BY DESIGN: A HOLLYWOOD NOVEL BY RICHARD E GRANT, PICADOR, pounds 15.99 RESENTMENT: A COMEDY BY GARY INDIANA, QUARTET BOOKS, pounds 10

Art: The theatre steals the show

Dance: RAMBERT DANCE COMPANY, SADLER'S WELLS THEATRE, LONDON

First Night: New Sadler's Wells opens to social whirl

Rambert dance company sadler's wells

No, really, it's funny

Actors, particularly comic actors, often fail dismally at writing novels, but Nigel Planer can prove he's the right man for the job.

Interview: Richard E Grant: Look back in panic

Richard E Grant is best at playing the neurotic, manic luvvie, perhaps because that's what he is. But he has turned his back on the past and reinvented himself so successfully, it's hard to tell

How Ann Widdecombe wriggled out of hard covers

In all the profiles, one question has never been asked. What about that novel then, Ann? Eh?

Why Richard E takes his brother for Granted

PETER YORK ON ADS: No 236: B2

Interview: Paul McGann - Dickens and I

The first indication we have of Eugene Wrayburn, Paul McGann's character in the new BBC adaptation of Our Mutual Friend, is a devil-may- care plume of cigar smoke emanating from behind an armchair. The camera then moves round to show a man draped languidly across the cushions, well away from the crowds at a society wedding. It is an image of yawning, nonchalant detachment.

Review: Laugh? I nearly cried

Theatre: Dracula Hackney Empire, London

Film: From Withnail to downtime ... and now the big time

Interview: Paul McGann
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own