Arts and Entertainment Ellie Goulding has refused to sing at the Sochi Winter Olympics due to Russia's anti-gay laws

The singer turned down a request to sing at the Sochi opening ceremony

'A rock'n'roll Jesus with a cowboy mouth'

When the playwright Sam Shepard met aspiring rock star Patti Smith in 1971, the result was an intense affair and a play which hasn't seen the light of day for years. Why revive it now, asks Samantha Ellis

Spoken Word

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets read by Stephen Fry

Radio: War: this is what it's good for

It must be fun pitching ideas for Radio 3. The direct opposite of pitching ideas for Hollywood. Try this. "I would like to put on a play dealing with the absurdity of war, written 77 years ago by an Austrian satirist few in this country have heard of." "Fine, fine." "It's 15 hours long - I'm not sure, it's never been staged in its entirety - has a cast of hundreds, and points out how our rulers, the media, and large swaths of the population, but particularly those with vested interests, are stupid, venal, hypocritical, and, worst of all, murderous." "Jolly good, tell me more." "It is written from a position of high intellectualism, deliberately at odds with the prevailing mood, and, given that it starts with a Balkan war and will be broadcast at a time when Boris Yeltsin is reminding us that Russia is still a nuclear power, will give the willies to everyone who hears it. And although I can't do it in 15 hours - I'm not that crazy - I can't do it in any less than four."

This will not break code of the Woosters

WODEHOUSE'S WARTIME broadcasts surface every few years like a horned floating bomb, breaking the millpond surface of his long and glorious career. Without the endlessly reiterated tale of the five talks he recorded for the Nazis in 1941, to be broadcast to America and, later, to Britain, his reputation would be too good to be true: that of an industrious old sweetie with a ceaseless facility for farcical plots and vivid similies, who doted on his public school (Dulwich College), wrote 98 books and 200 songs, amassed a fortune by shrewd fiscal husbandry, was happily married and, in letters, referred to his own daughter as "old boy".

My ideal version is showing at the Kington Coronet

We must all have books we like so much that we don't want other people to make films of them

Television: How many lobsters were going to St Ives?

Shortly before Rick Stein's first television series, I rang two weeks ahead to book a table for 14 at his Seafood Restaurant in Padstow. If I tried that now, I'd be laughed all the way to St Ives. Not even well- dressed crabs get into the Seafood Restaurant without reserving months in advance. Indeed, when I called in December last year to book a table for two for a midweek evening in August this year, I was told they hadn't anything before 9pm. At first I thought they were joking, and was faintly reminded of Fletcher in Porridge, who left his shoes to be repaired the day before he was nicked, and after years in prison went back for them. "They'll be ready Tuesday," he was told.

Now for the BBC's cost-cutting awards, repeated weekly

This week we're giving the prize to a new Radio 4 item, `I'm Sorry I Haven't a Desert Island'

The dangerous bigotry of the BBC

I was not allowed to infer that Mandelson's situation is not a million miles from Oscar Wilde's

All the rage, and how he survived it: Tony Slattery

deborah ross talks to Tony Slattery

Film: Also showing - Kingdom of basket cases

The Kingdom II

Not so Wilde about the boys

David Hare has miscast 'The Judas Kiss' and misjudged the passions of Oscar Wilde, writes Paul Taylor

No bottom jokes? Pull the other one

Think of Rik Mayall and you see a grinning maniac spouting bad- taste jokes about bodily malfunctions in a succession of hectic TV sitcoms. Now he is starring in a slightly more grown-up role in the film `Bring me the Head of Mavis Davis'. But, he tells James Rampton, it is a part that still has him feeling like a misfit.

Jilted John returns


Wilde: about the man

He, famously, had nothing to declare except his genius. And, to judge by the new crop of plays and films, neither have we. But exactly which Oscar are we going Wilde about: the flamboyant bisexual or the subversive aesthete?

Books: The bottom line

When he makes the effort, Stephen Fry the writer can produce something much finer than lavatory humour. Roger Clarke muses on a dandy's progress
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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
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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
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
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Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
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Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

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