News

A statement released by the actress' spokesperson said that she has "a fundamental difference of opinion" with the humanitarian group

The Queen's corsetier hits hard times as bra wars intensify

Rigby & Peller, the corsetier to the Queen and many Hollywood A-listers, may offer bras up to a formidable size M cup. Where profits are concerned, however, it is not so well-endowed: according to its latest annual accounts, the company made a loss of £214,000 last year, compared with a pre-tax profit of £168,000 the year before.

DVD: Iron Man 2, For retail & rental (Paramount)

Marvel Studios are revving up for superhero team-up movie The Avengers, and Iron Man 2 doesn't do much except mark time until that comes along in 2012.

Ready To Wear: Various cultures view the female form entirely differently

Is fashion meant to be flattering?

Diary: An accent on authenticity

The hottest unfilled role in Hollywood is that of Lisbeth Salander, title character in David Fincher's US version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Author rejects Hollywood offer

Tthe author Victoria Hislop has shunned a Hollywood offer to adapt her best-selling debut novel The Island, about a leper colony off Crete, in favour of a much smaller fee from a Greek television network.

Scarlett Johansson fever strikes again

Scarlett Johansson slips into a catsuit for her role as the undercover spy Black Widow in the action-adventure sequel Iron Man 2. She tells Gill Pringle why playing a vamp has been such a liberating experience

Album: Farrah, Farrah (Lo Jinx)

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

The Island (nc)

The spirit of Tarkovsky is never far from this rebarbative fable of guilt and atonement by Pavel Lounguine.

Mary Wakefield: No matter what grown-ups do, children still prefer marriage

All week the two main political parties have been bickering like an old married couple about the best way to bring up families. Like most fractious spouses, they don't actually disagree about very much, but each small difference is an occasion to vent their mutual loathing. And the subject of their most bitter dispute is marriage. The Tories have promised to promote it (in their own half-cocked kind of way). Labour has made great hay with how unfair it is to advocate one style of family over another. Every sort of relationship is equally valid, said Ed Balls, and anyway if we cut newlyweds some slack on tax, the children of non-marrieds will be bullied at school. Hum. Really? Is that how bullies work? "Oi new boy! Your mum doesn't claim a weekly tax credit?!"

Philip Hensher: The Cameron dilemma for impressionists

That thoughtful and accomplished comedian-impressionist, Alistair McGowan, has said he is quite unable to imitate David Cameron. After repeated attempts, "all that comes out is an upper-class whisper". It's true: has anyone succeeded in capturing Cameron's way of talking, or even in isolating any characteristic gestures? His voice doesn't sound "upper class" to me: it sounds neutral, relaxed, and middle class, like a BBC announcer from the 1970s. He is remarkably free of verbal or physical tics, as far as I can see; there is little on the surface to ridicule.

Album: Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson, Break Up (Atco/Rhino)

A musical diversion that doesn't get lost in translation

The bee business: An amateur apiary revolution

Colonies are being destroyed by disease, but a new wave of hobbyists with hives in their gardens could hold the key to restocking the population. Jonathan Owen reports

DVD: Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Rental and retail, (Optimum)

This breezy tale of two American tourists (Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall) who have their hormones and preconceptions shaken by two Spanish artists (Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz) is the return to form Woody Allen fans had given up hoping for.

DVD: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (12)

Better than Match Point but far from the heights of Manhattan, this Spanish romance is a welcome return to form for Woody Allen.

DVD: He's Just Not That Into You (12)

The best of a bad bunch of chick flicks this year.

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Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
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voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick