David Nicholls: 'A lot of novelists improvise, and I'm quite envious of that ability'

'I'm desperate that the next book shouldn't disappoint people'

One Day author David Nicholls talks about adaptations, aging characters and having a tough act to follow

Album: Thea Gilmore / Sandy Denny, Don't Stop Singing (Mighty Village / Island)

A collaborative effort between the Oxfordshire singer-songwriter Gilmore and the hitherto-unscored lyrics of her long-dead Northamptonshire equivalent, Sandy Denny.

Album: La Venexiana, Claudio Cavina, Luzzasco Luzzaschi: Concerto Delle Dame (Glossa)

The madrigals of Luzzasco Luzzaschi are little-known, and were only saved from oblivion by the death of Alfonso, Duke Of Ferrara, who had guarded these pieces written for the three sopranos of his Concerto delle Dame.

Bella! Bella! 'Gregory's Girl' star lands deal to write crime novels

To many, he will be for ever remembered as the gawky teenager Gregory Underwood, in the 1980s coming-of-age hit Gregory's Girl.

Nick Helm: Dare to Dream, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

You don't have much choice but to get caught up in Nick Helm's mania. "You're delaying the fun!" he warns us, coercing us to punch the air for his rocky opening number. "Never stop dreaming/from the floor to the ceiling," he commands.

The Princess of Montpensier (15)

Starring: Mélanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson

Nick Helm: Keep Hold of the Gold, Soho Theatre, London

Nick Helm's brash and bullish show, which broadly depicts a clumsy, heart-on-sleeve romantic having a meltdown, was one of the finds of last year's Edinburgh festival. The antics of a man resembling Nick Frost playing a sergeant

The Whisperer, By Donato Carrisi

Literary thriller? More a grim tale from the shallow end

DVD: The Switch (12)

The Switch is yet another rom-com starring Jennifer Aniston looking for love. Aniston plays Kassie, a single girl desperate for a baby who decides to search for a sperm donor.

New Romantic pioneer Mick Karn dies

Mick Karn, former bassist with the band Japan, has died at the age of 52 from cancer.

The Brontës, By Juliet Barker

Every age has its Brontë interpreters from Mrs Gaskell and Winifred Gerin to Jane Sellars and Lucasta Miller. It was Juliet Barker's 1994 biography, however, that most dramatically reclaimed the sisters as flesh-and-blood human beings – giving wild romantic Emily, love-sick Anne, and "poor" Charlotte long needed makeovers.

Deborah Ross: 'Butcher flirting is flirting for a purpose and the purpose is marrow-bone'

If you ask me, once you get a dog, you need to start flirting with your local butcher like a mad thing, and you must do this flirting whether the butcher likes it or not. Personally, I suspect my butcher does not like it, judging by the way he tries to dart out back whenever I enter his shop, but as I will say to him when I get to know him even better: "Do you think I'll assume the shop is unmanned and just go away? Well, I won't, you big ninny. Now, stay put and flirt! Be a man!"

Album: Lost in the Trees, All Alone in an Empty House (Anti-)

They claim to bring classical music to bear on the tropes of American folk music. Hmm.

After the Dance, NT Lyttelton, London<br/>Love Story, Minerva, Chichester<br/>The Fantasticks, Duchess, London

An assured Rattigan revival proves there's dramatic life in the drawing room yet, while a musical 'Love Story' is saccharine but leaves a sour taste
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen