The enduring British fascination with life above and below stairs gets another stoking from Sunday, with ITV's transmission of Downton Abbey, a seven-part drama set in a grand country house just before the First World War and naturally starring, in the regrettable absence of Dame Judi, Dame Maggie Smith.
Arifa Akbar reports on five stimulating days of books, talk, food – and fun in the sun
Best-selling author tells of how she was engulfed by 'bad clinical depression.'
Woodstock's first big-name speaker charmed and ruffled feathers in equal measure last night
Already TV’s face of poetry, awardwinning producer and ‘head girl’ of her own company, Daisy Goodwin has writtenher debut novel. She talks to Arifa Akbar
More than a million revellers were thought to have attended the Notting Hill Carnival yesterday, making it Europe's largest street festival, which has been held every August bank holiday since 1966.
More than 100 leading figures from the literary world will take up residence next month amid the majestic surroundings of Blenheim Palace for The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival 2010.
Music festivals were nearly as common in the ancient world as they are in the modern. Though unlike modern festivals, which venerate rock gods, the ancients sought to glorify more ethereal deities. Each spring the Athenians would celebrate the Festival of the Vine Flower, a three day shindig which began with a drinking contest conducted in silence and ended with singing and dancing to "melodies that excite the soul to a mystic frenzy". A description that wouldn't be amiss applied to many a modern festival.
Marcus Odair picks his favourite new artists to watch out for in this summer's festival line-up
Happy birthday, Glasto! To celebrate, Jonathan Brown meets 10 workers who sum up the festival's unique spirit
The UK is alive with festivals: musical, literary, foodie and more. Alice-Azania Jarvis identifies some of the exotic sub-species to be spotted in these summer habitats. Illustration: Simon Spilsbury
Hay gives a whole new meaning to book club while Phaidon goes all 'multi-platform' on us
The trainer saddles three runners in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown today
Colin Firth has taken the film world by storm with his performance as a grieving professor
The cosy comforts of home are more important than ever at this time of year. So turn your space into a winter wonderland by mixing traditional festive fare with quirky contemporary pieces...