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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Former ‘Daily Mirror’ editor Piers Morgan
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game