Arts and Entertainment EastEnders needs to review its take on Cockney life

The soap EastEnders must recalibrate its outdated depiction of Cockney life to take account of the young hipsters and tech entrepreneurs who have made East London a fashionable place to live, the BBC has admitted.

Your shout! The real route to TV stardom

Joanna Harvey marvels at reality TV's surprise success stories

Miles Kington: Let this poor old government die with dignity

A government that forgets the promises it made when it was young, and mumbles expressions like 'we must move on', is a candidate for euthanasia

Preview: Tom, Dick & Harry, Duke of York's Theatre, London

Comedy runs in the family

Spoken Word

True Read by Mark Bazeley | Friday's Child Read by Eve Matheson

Arts: French without tears

He's the soap star who won't talk to the tabloids but, as he returns to the stage, Michael French speaks exclusively to David Benedict

The Joys of Modern Life: 26. Grant Mitchell

YOU GODDA problem? Try standing in front of the mirror and saying this. Fold your arms, clamp your jaw, raise one eyebrow and say it very, very quietly. There. Isn't that weird? Isn't it scary? Isn't it ever so slightly comical? And isn't it, above all, disconcertingly sexy? There. You've just experienced the Grant Mitchell effect.

Arts: Theatre: Blame it on the boredom

BOOGIE NIGHTS SAVOY THEATRE LONDON

The Ratings: BBC 1

Soaps continue to exercise their stranglehold on ratings. Only the movie Addams Family Values in the Top Ten and, lower down, Fawlty Towers and Men Behaving Badly offer respite. Programme Total (millions)

Why are they famous? Gillian Taylforth

MAIN CLAIM: Blow jobs. Er, sorry, easing of pancreatic pain, involving head disappearing into boyfriend's lap in parked car, that is. Other than starring in a famous and quite squirmingly embarrassing court case concerning alleged oral relief of male partner, Gillian Taylforth is loved and admired as Kaff of the Caff - EastEnders' supreme old trouper who can out-act Babs Windsor with a simple purse of the lips. News of the week is that Kaffy is now gettin' eeowt ov the square, with her last episode to be screened over the Easter weekend.

Sport on TV; Flamboyant Fergie eclipses Ilie's odyssey

THE BBC has a great deal riding on the broad shoulders of John Inverdale, and you need only look at the colour of Desmond Lynam's hair to see why. It did not get that grey merely as the result of decades spent supporting Brighton and Hove Albion (although that, undoubtedly, has played its part), and as if to underline the point, he has even taken to wearing specs during Match of the Day.

Lady and the tramp

THE DIARY OF EMMA D MAY

Richie richer

The experience may be rather similar but the programme is significantly different. It has had surgery by focus group, painful maybe, but somewhat kinder than oblivion.
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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