Russell Crowe

Millinery: If you want to get ahead, get a blue hat

The blue bandana-style headwear worn by Prime Minister David Cameron while visiting Amritsar in India might have been a combination of respect for the Golden Temple and a politician’s eye for a photo opportunity. But it seems he inadvertently latched on to a trend for blue hats.

There's a storm brewing Down Under as even New Zealand eclipse their

It may be painful for Australia to be languishing in the Olympic medal table, but it is torture to be overtaken by its pipsqueak neighbour New Zealand. Fortunately, the Australian media has found ways to soften the blow. Cheekily announcing the birth of a new nation, the Daily Telegraph, a Sydney tabloid, showed "Aus Zealand" at ninth place in the league table yesterday.

One minute with: John J Niven, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see? In the office of the house I'm renting in Los Angeles. I can see palm trees and all sort of lush foliage. Also, the sparkly water of the hot tub.

The Insider: How to get lighting right

Nosing at other people's homes from the top of the bus after dark, I always marvel at so many rooms robbed of atmosphere by dependence on stark central ceiling lights. A lamp or two is a start – but what else can you do with lighting to transform a space?

The Next Three Days (12A)

Presumably aimed at viewers who are allergic to subtitles, The Next Three Days is a faithful Hollywood remake of a recent French thriller, Pour Elle, in which a school teacher plots to spring his wife from prison.

No surprises as Master and Commander sail in

Defending a crown generally brings more pressure than challenging for one, so both relief and pleasure washed round Haydock's winner's circle yesterday after the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Imperial Commander, opened his season with an authoritative success in the Betfair Chase. The nine-year-old, ridden by Paddy Brennan, took control of the three-mile contest after the first circuit and, though tiring on the testing ground in the closing stages, held Tidal Bay's late flourish by a length and a quarter.

My secret life: James Ellroy, author, 62

My parents were ... good-looking LA arrivistes. They were ill-suited for parenthood, so I'm not surprised that I turned out to be both as troubled and gifted as I am.

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Dreamworks: Why the dream team became a nightmare

There was a colourful addition to the annals of Hollywood history last week, when it was reported that a young Russell Crowe once telephoned a producer of his breakthrough film, Gladiator, at 3am, in order to utter the immortal words: "You motherfucker! I will kill you with my bare hands!"