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The MP for Tottenham spoke to The Independent about a short film project on social housing in the capital

How I Escaped my Certain Fate, By Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee gave up stand-up comedy in 2001 after deciding that his material was "arch, cynical, tired, fake, conceited, formulaic and flat". He threw his energies into co-writing and directing Jerry Springer: the Opera, which earned him an Olivier Award, opprobrium and no money. In 2004, he began his comeback as an "alternative" comedian, and this book is the story of that comeback.

Lamb of God Russell Brand

Russell Brand is set to star in 'Lamb of God'.

Culture Club: Arthur

"What a waste of Helen Mirren. I hope they paid her loads to make it worthwhile."

Terence Blacker: We need more sex from our authors, not less

Social Studies: In our nervous, safety-first cultural climate, young writers have learnt to regard sex, like humour, as a risky area best avoided

Russell Brand: 'Americans don't like being told what to think by the English'

Since marrying and relocating to Los Angeles, I've changed the way I research my stand-up The way I worked used to govern all my time anyway. Then, add to that a domestic life, and it's really hard to do anything like watch a film or go to a gig or remain engaged. Also, I think life in Los Angeles is kind of insular, in that you don't really know too much about what's going on in the world. You don't have a print media in America anywhere, really. And with television media – I'm sure you can seek stuff out, but broadly speaking it's all celebrity- and entertainment-led, and quite right-wing.

Arthur, Jason Winer, 110 mins (12)<br/>TT3D: Closer To The Edge, Richard De Aragues, 103 mins (15)<br/>Pina, Wim Wenders, 103 mins (U)

Russell Brand plays the billionaire hedonist, so what could possibly go wrong?

Culture Club: Little White Lies (15)

Readers review this week's big film

Russell Brand: a new lease of life

Playing the sozzled lead in the remake of Arthur may seem a little close to home for Russell Brand. But this time the hedonism is just an act, he tells Gill Pringle

Rihanna thought Russell Brand was an 'idiot'

Rihanna thought Russell Brand was an "idiot" when she first met him.

Russell Brand keen for kids

Russell Brand wants children "soon".

Hop (U)

Starring: James Marsden, Russell Brand, Hugh Laurie

Radio 2: Notes on a broadcasting scandal

The replacement of &lsquo;The Radcliffe and Maconie Show&rsquo; by Jo Whiley is a blow to music-lovers, says SimonO&rsquo;Hagan

The Tempest (PG)

Like Alonso and Gonzalo under Ariel's soporific spell, you may experience "a strange drowsiness" during Julie Taymor's film interpretation of Shakespeare's late play. What kept me awake was Helen Mirren's imperial performance as Prospera (above), gender-flipped from Prospero in the film's boldest coup, and her touching relationship with her daughter Miranda, also beautifully played by Felicity Jones. The switch from masculine to feminine lends the story a deeper sense of reconciliation and forgiveness, though as a spectacle Taymor's film exhausts rather than exhilarates, failing to establish any sense of scale or control. It roars and rages, like a tempest, but aside from Mirren its thunder is mostly fake.

DVD: Despicable Me (U)

Universal's animation begins promisingly with a delicious visual gag – a plump redneck boy bouncing off an inflatable Egyptian pyramid; the real pyramid has been pilfered by a villainous pipsqueak, Vector (Jason Segel).

Russell Brand loves ordinary marriage to Katy Perry

Russell Brand's marriage to Katy Perry is "ordinary".

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War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage