Arts and Entertainment
 

What do Lily Cole, Rupert Everett and Peppa Pig have in common? Apart, obviously, from their striking good looks. Answer: they are passionate about reading, and about encouraging children to read. To prove their point, they joined a host of other actors and writers at yesterday's inaugural Get Reading event, a day-long festival in Trafalgar Square in London.

Vanished Years, By Rupert Everett, The Richard Burton Diaries, Edited by Chris Williams

With thespian memoirs, a teasing maverick outshines a stiff superstar

Cultural Life: David Haig, actor

Theatre: I recently went to see a reading of a new play called 'Coalition'. It was a political satire about the present coalition government. Written by Tom Salinsky and Robert Khan, it was witty, fast moving and hugely enjoyable. It started me wondering about the nature of great satirical comedy. I immediately thought of 'The Thick of It' and 'Yes Minister' and realised that one of the features of both is the paradoxical ability to be specific and non-specific at the same time. Subliminally one is constantly aware of contemporary resonances, but the resonances are never specific enough to give history the chance to overtake the comedy and render it redundant. That was my one reservation about 'Coalition'. It was so particularly about Clegg's Lib Dems that there is a danger that history will creep up and date it overnight. I hope not, because it was a terrific script.

Duchess is a £5bn Icap star

Icap, the inter-dealer broker, attracted a host of celebrities to its annual charity day yesterday, with all revenues donated to charity.

That’s magic: Harry Potter: Page to Screen will cast a spell over the wizard’s fans

Cinema: Don't ask for the moon from these stars

Christmas books of the year

Man About Town: All about my peculiar job

August is the cruellest month, for gossip columnists at least. Little gets “launched”, “premieres”are postponed and story-barrels are well and truly scraped.

Béatrice Dalle: 'I am naturally quite bashful'

Shoplifting! Nudity! Drugs! Banned from the US! A boyfriend who punched a monkey on TV! A husband she met while he was in prison... Just how 'bashful' are you, Béatrice? Robert Chalmers meets the divine Ms Dalle

Orrin Tucker

Solve the proposal puzzle – do it by crossword

In these days of spring and romance, it is reasonable to imagine Cupid can fire his arrow almost anywhere. Yet it is hard to imagine a place less imbued with matters of the heart than the smudgy black-and-white grid of a newspaper crossword, even if it is the Washington Post.

Save £10 on top price tickets to Pygmalion

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DVD: St Trinian's 2, For retail & rental (Entertainment in Video)

If you have a particular fetish for Rupert Everett in drag, or, more feasibly, for leggy twentysomethings in skimpy school uniforms, you may be tempted by St Trinian's 2.

Byron in Love, By Edna O' Brien

Nearly 200 years after Byron's death, writers and dramatists are still in his thrall. Benjamin Markovitz's recent novel, A Quiet Adjustment, recreated the poet's brief marriage to Anabella Milbanke. Then last year came Rupert Everett's flirtatious televised homage, involving dressing up and stripping down. Edna O'Brien, a writer naturally drawn to matters romantic, says that her own interest was first whetted by a remark of Lady Blessington that he was "the most extraordinary and terrifying person [she had] ever met." That, and the fact that she likes the idea of "writers writing about other artists."

Miller wins biggest payout for invasion of privacy

The Sun and The News of the World were forced to pay the actress Sienna Miller damages yesterday for publishing nude photographs taken against her will during the filming of a movie.

Read Bono's 'Independent' tomorrow - the Red issue

Tomorrow The Independent is to turn RED, and half of all the revenues from that day's newspaper will be donated to fighting Aids in Africa. The paper will be edited by the U2 frontman and activist Bono, who, along with the leading American philanthropist Bobby Shriver set up the Product RED partnership.

Rupert Everett: Prince charming

Rupert Everett is rich, handsome and best mates with the stars. But, as Liz Hoggard discovers, he's also unguarded and engaging on everything from toe nails to Tony Blair.

The knack: How to be a Beverly Hills butler

"Forget everything modern and trendy. You need to be a terrific snob and have a plummy voice, otherwise it simply doesn't work. To get the performance right, you have to model yourself on fictional characters - read Wodehouse and watch John Gielgud's performance in Arthur, it's perfection. Like these examples, you need precisely the right blend of unctuousness and contempt - but only offering your opinion on your employer's behaviour if asked. Remember that a good butler must always be ready with an apparently spontaneous epigram, preferably a dry one.
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game