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If Steve Backshall truly fancies a future in politics then he is going to have to practise his ability to fudge questions and stall for time

The Irishman is three-and-a-half hours long and is out on Netflix towards the end of the month, raising the initially tempting prospect of watching it at home, maybe spread over two, even three nights.

This fine revival of Sir David McVicar's 2003 production of The Magic Flute works at every level.

Thomas's quirky, darkly funny novel lifts the lid on the ways of teenage girls in the intense surroundings of a boarding school.

Since the early Nineties, Connelly's popularity has continued to soar. In addition to selling more than 60 million crime novels worldwide, stars have clamoured to film his work

The early Nineties are coming round again. George Michael has a new single, posthumous but pulsating with life. There is a Now boxset of forgotten Nineties music.

The glaring problem with this 2006 musical about a discerning record-shop owner is that Rob, our hero and proprietor, would have winced at the score.

What a bore Harry Houdini must have been. And what a narcissist. Ninety-three years on from his death in 1926, Houdini reads like a thoroughly modern celebrity.

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The fall of the Berlin Wall changed the world. It brought an end to Communist regimes right across Europe, and finished Russia as a superpower

Raymond Briggs is best known as the creator of The Snowman and a wonderfully grumpy Father Christmas. Even his sweetest, most playful works are full of intimations of mortality

The annual charity telethon is back with segments from Star Wars, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing just some of the entertainments on offer.

'Breaking down barriers, making people more aware, I like to think I have a platform. It's part of my job to show what is possible,' Susan Boyle says, speaking at her home in West Lothian

It's 350 years since Rembrandt died, and museums around the world have been marking it with general or specific exhibitions of his work.

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Helen Mirren reveals why she felt objectified in every one of her famous scenes

Helen Mirren, inset, refuses to call herself sexy and threatens to scream if the word was used. Despite her looks, she said she always felt awkward when shooting intimate scenes, such as opposite Corin Redgrave in the fantasy movie Excaliber, left, as well as Victoria, the girlfriend of London gangster Harold Shand, played by Bob Hoskins, right, in The Long Good Friday.

Modesty is a rarity in rock 'n' roll. But for a hit-writer, producer and rock star, Jeff Lynne displays none of the super-sized ego normally associated with those jobs

It was nearly 35 years ago that Joe Simpson faced down death on an Andean mountain. In the decades since it happened, his story, Touching The Void, has affected millions

'Comedy is an escape,' says Paul Merton, who has been making people laugh and forget their worries for more than 30 years. 'It is very popular in bad times.'

The hugely popular Artemis Fowl series began in 2001. Seven more novels followed, charting the adventures of a young Irish criminal mastermind in league with fairies

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