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
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape