Arts and Entertainment Bridget Jones, played by Renée Zellwegger, in the big-screen version

Old tricks and new comforts in Fielding’s fantasy of consolation

Tom Sutcliffe: Why ignorance isn't really bliss

I found myself snagged the other day by a charming detail in the story about a Swedish kindergarten which aims to protect its charges from all culturally imposed gender stereotypes.

The Insider: How to personalise your kitchen

The fitted kitchen was a great invention for chore-trapped 1950s housewives. But now? The lock, stock and barrel concept can feel a bit Stepford. So how can you personalise your cooking space?

The Insider: How to make your shelving sexy

When you make shelving a feature, rather than a bland device to store clutter, the stuff you display tends to look (and get treated) better...

Crowe to teach drama in Durham (the students better do what he says)

There is little doubt that Russell Crowe has a lot to teach aspiring young actors.

The Colosseum, By Keith Hopkins & Mary Beard

Though it is "the most famous, and instantly recognisable, monument to have survived from the classical world", the authors of this excellent history concede that the Colosseum can be disappointing. "Any visitor will almost certainly be amazed by the overpowering bulk of the outside walls," but inside "they are confronted by...a jumble of dilapidated stone and rubble."

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.

Let's talk it over: Reviving the broadcast interview

The broadcast interview has become a home for bland celebrity banter. Ian Burrell reports on the BBC's attempts to revive the art of TV interrogation

For the best buddy movies, take a look behind the camera

As Mark Wahlberg and David O Russell score with their third collaboration, Leigh Singer celebrates top director/star combos

The Insider: How to find inspiration

After moving from a small flat to a whole house, I panicked: I had little furniture, no budget and zero direction. Inspiration was clouded by the threat of expensive mistakes and "blank canvas" alarm. So where can one turn for ideas?

Portman tells of the agony she endured to be a dancer

The actress Natalie Portman has revealed that the punishing schedule she endured for her new role as a ballerina in Black Swan left her fearing she was going to die.

Gulliver's Travels, Rob Letterman, 90 mins, (PG)

Some stars go to any length to be massive. Jack Black is merely overblown in a poor adaptation

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.

English gladiator learns to fight celebrity status

Sam Burgess, who will face Australia on Sunday, is taking tips from Russell Crowe on how to cope with his sudden fame Down Under
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Radamel Falcao
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor