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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable