A life in pictures: Patrick Swayze

Following the tragic premature death of Patrick Swayze, we look back over some key moments in the life of the American actor.

Funny People, Judd Apatow, 146 mins, (15)

Judd Apatow's latest film brilliantly lampoons the life of an A-list comedian – but where are the substantial female characters?

John Hughes: Writer, director and producer whose Eighties teen movies captured a generation on film

John Hughes defined the 1980s teenager in a series of hugely successful and influential comedy films, including The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, whose young stars became members of the group known as the "Brat Pack".

Just Me, By Sheila Hancock

The Two of Us was Sheila Hancock's first foray into memoir writing, offering a tender account of her life with late husband and actor, John Thaw, and their 28-year marriage.

My Secret Life: Simon Schama, historian, 64

The home I grew up in ... was a removal van: my father was always going broke.

In pictures: The Brüno premiere

Brüno hits London

Bunny Boilers: Cinematic stalkers guarantee drama

A new movie joins a long line of cinematic obsessions, says Emily Dugan

Stand up and be counted: 30 years of the Comedy Store

When the Comedy Store threw open its doors, it rewrote the joke book. Julian Hall celebrates 30 years of mirth - and 10 comedians recall their first, nerve-wracking, appearances there

Hit & Run: A star is spawned

Will it replace the giant panda? Perhaps not quite. But thanks to the Prince of Wales, the Argentinian horned frog has a fair chance of becoming a new worldwide symbol of conservation.

Katy Guest: Literacy is not reading. It's a form of mining

I recently had the opportunity, while dodging poshies at the Oxford/Cambridge boat race, to talk to a friend who studied science while I was an English student at university. He was one of those who delighted in telling me when we were both 21: "You'll never get a job reading books, you know." I now have a job reading books. My unfortunate friend is still working for a living.

Class act: How the French director Laurent Cantet netted an Oscar nomination

The French director Laurent Cantet tells Jonathan Romney how he let a class of school children loose on his script – and ended up with an Oscar nomination

Why comedians are dubbing Hollywood

In the UK, if we think of improvised comedy we normally think of Paul Merton. But, for the next six weeks, theatres up and down the land will have a chance to experience a new American improv export with a recognisably British cast that doesn't include Merton or his improv chums. Marcus Brigstocke, Phill Jupitus, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Hattie Hayridge are among a rotating cast who will be supplying new dialogue to old movies for a show called Totally Looped, putting a new perspective on idea that started out as prank at a US college radio station.

Captain Monty: Colin named as Ryder Cup captain

The famously combustible Scot will spearhead Europe's bid to recapture the Ryder Cup. James Corrigan in Dubai assesses the sort of leader he will make

Emma Thompson: Doth the lady protest too much?

From the Golden Globes to the runway demos at Heathrow, the actress was everywhere last week. She admits that people may have had enough of her banging the drum, but that won't stop her. Joanna Moorhead in conversation with... Emma Thompson
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links