A terrible cult

'Withnail and I' is 10. Suzi Feay celebrates a comedy classic

Dear Paul McGann

From the editor of Doctor Who Magazine to its new eponymous hero: a few words about the Tardis and tachyonics

Christine Eccles was commissioned to write a book about the Royal Court. Max Stafford-Clark tolerated it. Stephen Daldry hated it. So just what went wrong?

It all began in 1991 when Max Stafford-Clark, the former artistic director of the Royal Court, agreed to my proposition that I record a year in the life of the theatre for eventual publication by Nick Hern Books. A public institution like the Royal Court ought not to avoid examination.

BBC chief admits 'Castles' a failure

A question mark hangs over the future of the BBC's latest soap, Castles, after the corporation's head of drama, Charles Denton, yesterday branded it a failure, writes Rhys Williams.

Off with the mince

The achievement of the week belonged not to a current Conservative politician, but a retired one. Step forward the willowy Nigel Lawson, who is only two-thirds the man he was when Chancellor. Nigel revealed that he had been on a diet and lost four stone in twelve months.

CINEMA / The British are coming (again)

A year after `Four Weddings', another charming British comedy is a hit. Sue Summers meets the director of `Jack and Sarah'

It's alive, it's alive!

Live TV is 24 hours old today. Janet Street Porter played midwife, Jim White witnessed the birth

Who would you most like to punch?

OPINIONS

Altman: ready to weary

Cinema

The Worst of Times: This stiff grey fin was moving purposefully towards us . . .: Richard E Grant talks to Danny Danziger

When I was eight, my parents, my younger brother, Stewart, and a girl called Margo Edwards, who was at school with us, went on holiday to Mozambique. One day, we took out a small rowing boat with an outboard motor on it, and went fishing on this vast lagoon at a place called San Martina.

How We Met: Richard E Grant and Joan Washington

Actor Richard E Grant, 37, was born in Swaziland. He has appeared in such films as Withnail and I and The Player, and in numerous stage and television roles - the latest in a BBC production of Hard Times. He married Joan Washington in 1986; they live in Middlesex with their daughter, Olivia.

Travel: Transylvania for suckers: Carole Cadwalladr fancied a ghouls' night out in Brasov, but she missed the incubus and could find nothing to get her teeth into

I had read Bram Stoker's Dracula, and seen the film and, since I was passing through Transylvania, it seemed like a good idea to pick up the T-shirt. The taxi driver from Brasov station had got my number. 'I know why you come here,' he said, leering. 'You want to find Vlad to impale you.' Or maybe I just misheard.

REVIEW / All the biggest names fall on Hard Times

FACT: Charles Dickens completed 14 novels. Fact: it is quicker to list the ones the BBC has not adapted. Fact: all but one of them were written in serial form. Fact: Hard Times is the one that wasn't.

MOTORING / Withnail, the cat from Coventry and I: Me & My Motor: Richard E Grant made his screen name in a Mark 2 Jag; now he has his own XJS. Matthew Gwyther goes for a gentle spin

IT COMES as little initial surprise that Richard E Grant's personal road transport is a Jaguar. His first occasion behind the wheel of a cat from Coventry came in the film that made his name - Withnail & I. Fans of the homage to 1969, in which Grant played a waspish out-of-work actor who lived on red wine and Mandrax, will recall the car - 405 SBH, a distressed Mark 2 with one front headlamp missing. At the climax of the film, Withnail is arrested weaving to and fro across all three lanes of the M1 with half a case of his uncle's finest claret inside him. He tries to avoid prosecution by offering a sample of someone else's alcohol-free urine which he kept in a Squeezy bottle hidden in his greatcoat.
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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain