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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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor