Seen any good books lately?

The liberties film-makers take with characters and plot when they adapt well-loved novels too often spoil the stories for fans of the originals, argues Arifa Akbar

Polanski's 'The Ghost' wins best film at European Film Awards

Roman Polanski's The Ghost – the story of a journalist hired to write the memoirs of a British prime minister – has won the prize for best film at the European Film Awards.

48 Hours In: Bangkok

Great food, superb shopping and a vibrant culture make the Thai capital an ideal gateway for a journey to South-East Asia.

DVD: The Ghost

A topical DVD this, considering that Roman Polanski’s film of Robert Harris’s political thriller revolves around Blairish memoirs.

DJ Taylor: The art of self-promotion

Compare and contrast Lord Mandelson's bells-and-whistles publicity drive with the no-fuss approach to stardom shown by movie actress Penelope Cruz

Prosecutors vow to pursue Polanski

American justice officials and prosecutors have described the Swiss decision to free Roman Polanski as a disappointment and an injustice but insisted that they will continue their pursuit of the film director.

Julie Burchill: Just how famous do you have to be to make it OK that you're a rapist or racist?

When the alleged comedian Frankie Boyle was banged to rights for picking on handicapped children, I wondered why so soon after picking on Jews he hadn't simply picked on Jewish handicapped children instead, and thus made his set more streamlined.

Polanski freed as Switzerland rejects US extradition plea

Switzerland released Roman Polanski from more than seven months of house arrest in his Alpine chalet yesterday after rejecting an American extradition request which would have returned him to the US to face charges of having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Nationhood is not dead. It's thriving

Notebook

Johann Hari: So that's OK then. It's fine to abuse young girls, as long as you're a great film director

The Swiss government has admitted "national interests" may be a factor

Switzerland frees film director Roman Polanski

Switzerland said today it would not send Roman Polanski back to the United States to face sentencing for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, freeing the Oscar-winning director from 10 months arrest.

Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary (16/05/10)

Forever going to the palace

Polanski 'abused me when I was 16,' says British actress

Los Angeles prosecutors have met a British actress who claims she was sexually abused by director Roman Polanski when she was 16 - years before she appeared in one of his films.

Birdemic: Schlock horrors that come low on the pecking order

Birdemic, a tribute to The Birds, is the latest in a long line of terrible Alfred Hitchcock remakes. Why does the master of suspense inspire so many turkeys, wonders Francesca Steele

Polanski says case against him is a 'lie'

After seven months under house arrest in his Swiss chalet, and still facing extradition, Roman Polanski has broken a long silence over his 33-year-old sex conviction, claiming the case against him is based on a "lie" and accusing the US authorities of wanting to "serve me on a platter to the media of the world".

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Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
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Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
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footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
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