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.

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Letter: Shakespeare the outstanding Briton

Sir: William Shakespeare was recently voted the outstanding Briton of the millennium by BBC radio listeners and the film Shakespeare in Love has attracted huge audiences. Each country needs to recognise its greatest citizens as role models, but it seems that in this country our greatest men and women are officially ignored. It is time to honour Shakespeare by making his birthday, 23 April, a national holiday for the United Kingdom, or at least an English public holiday.

Real lives: The good feud guide

The public slanging match is a venerable tradition - and today's stars are just as keen as yesterday's, says HESTER LACEY

Best-sellers: UK Films

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Questionnaire Sebastian Coe, Former Athlete

What did you think of England's first match under Kevin Keegan?

Why are they famous? Rupert Everett

Main claim

Monitor: The Academy Awards

All the News of the World

Words: hogo, n.

THE NATION'S examiners will despair when the glorious inaccuracies of Shakespeare in Love lodged in adolescent brains are presented as GCSE fact ("as Shakespeare's lover reached America . . ."). They should bone up on Anthony Burgess's equally vivacious biography, as headlong as its subject but curiously down on the wordplay of Love's Labours Lost.

Monitor: The American press considers the 1999 Academy Awards ceremony

All the News of the World

'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis, 'tis true. 'Tis total tosh

Yes, yes, it's nice for everybody - nice for the British film industry, nice for the investors, nice for Dame Judi, nice for Marc, nice for Sir Tom, nice for Gwyneth (though maybe not so nice for all those genuinely British Violas who might have been up for the part had someone not been thinking Oscars from the very beginning) but still, yes, yes, nice. And God knows the last thing one wants to do is spoil a good party. But Shakespeare in Love, Best Film, in any company, in any year, judged by any standards - my masters, are you mad?

The Oscas: Shame on you, Oscar

David Thomson on tonight's Academy Awards - and why a Holocaust comedy should not even have been considered

And the Bafta nominations are...

MICHAEL CAINE, who was ignored in the Oscar nominations this year, could still pick up a best actor award from his British peers.

Words: Espy, v.

SHAKESPEARE IN love was one thing, William Espy quite another. The American wordsmith has died at 88, seven decades after marrying Ann Hathaway: he thought the name would inspire his poetry. Alas, she was soon back in an earlier boyfriend's arms. Espy must certainly have known Leigh Hunt's call for magnaminity: "we all, like Moses, should espy, / Ev'n in a bush, the radiant Deity".

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