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

BOX CLEVER

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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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness