News

While politicians agonise over the size of the Government’s debt, one of the most expensive publicly funded projects in recent years is quietly getting under way.

Edinburgh victorious with three late tries

Edinburgh 32 London Irish 25

Scots have seasons to be cheerful

Blackadder's infectious spirit has given Edinburgh a new lease of life. Hugh Godwin discovers his secret

Broadcasting: Masochists would love this show

On the wall of our loo hangs a newspaper advertisement dating, I would guess, from the late 1930s. "Television is here, you can't shut your eyes to it," it proclaims. "Television is here to widen your horizon, to give a new depth, a richer meaning to life. For three hours a day, every day of the week, you can watch things happening in the world outside from within the comfort of your own home. The pageantry of some historic ceremony, the tense drama of a great play, the laughter and song of the musical shows, championship fights, news, comment and discussion on current affairs, all these come within your view as soon as you get Television, the most entertaining and informative accompaniment to everyday life the world has ever known."

You ask the questions: Stephen Fry

(Such as: Stephen Fry, why is TV comedy dominated by over-paid ex-public schoolboys and their cronies?)

Media: Turn on, tune in, switch over

At least two of the recent defections from the BBC have involved Peter Bennett-Jones, a man who acts as agent for the cream of British comedy. And it is greater artistic flexibility - rather than greed - that is motivating them, he insists. By Paul McCann

Football: The Sweeper - Mr Bean silent in FA's Edwards farce

MR BEAN, the Football Association's enforcer, has been as outspoken as his non-talking television namesake recently, not least on a potential disrepute charge against Manchester United's chairman Martin Edwards.

The enduring war

The First World War continues to haunt us. Why? A new TV series attempts to separate the myths from the bloody reality

Comedy: debt wish - live

For one of our top comic talents, Rowan Atkinson (left) does not do much live work. When he does tread the boards, however, Atkinson remains a fine physical comedian. On Friday, he heads a bill that lives up to that overworked adjective "starry". Debt Wish - Live, a Comic Relief benefit focusing on debt relief, also features David Baddiel, Simon Day, Kevin Day, Angus Deayton, The Happy Mondays, Goodness Gracious Me, Lenny Henry, Sean Hughes, Lee and Herring, Smack the Pony and Stomp. A similar line- up (with Steve Coogan and Alan Davies instead of Atkinson, Deayton and Henry) takes the floor on Saturday 5 June.

Profile: Richard Curtis - From gags to riches

`Notting Hill' is charming, witty, delightful. But has the writer of `Blackadder' gone soft?

Words: bloviate, v.

IT MIGHT cause pan-luvviedom apoplexy, but some of us lament the fact that Frank Rich no longer reviews plays. Dubbed the "Butcher of Broadway" by a petulant Rowan Atkinson, Rich now turns his firmly rooted, even orchidaceous style on other matters - always alert to those that bloviate.

Blackadder made the official hero of English history

VISITORS TO the Millennium Dome will have the chance to see Cate Blanchett, Dame Judi Dench and Miranda Richardson jostling for the throne as the true Elizabeth I in a special Blackadder version of British history. The first new episode of the show for 10 years will be viewed by 50,000 people a day on Britain's biggest movie screen.

GIGS: THE BEST OF THE REST

Marcus Powell

Christmas books: Humour - You won't believe this...

Steer clear of the spin-offs, says Martin Rowson. Stick to the cartoons

Rallying: Mr Bean a vintage runner at 61

BOB BEAN first entered the RAC Rally the year England won the World Cup, 1966, long before he gained his current identity.

Football: FA appoint Mr Bean as new `sleazebuster'

THE FOOTBALL Association yesterday announced the appointment of a 37-year-old police officer as its new `sleazebuster'.
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor