More than 40 years ago, Ridley Scott made his cinematic debut with The Duellists, about two French cavalry officers locked in an endless round of duels during the Napoleonic Wars.
It's 1915 on the Western Front. Stalemate is leading to a bloody war of attrition in the trenches: something's got to give.
Like a lot of us, I keep wondering how I could have frittered away all that time during lockdown.
Prince Charles has revealed his 50-year-old Aston Martin is now powered by cheese and wine.
Crossroads is set in 1971, so it is really a historical novel, just as a novel written in 1971 and set in 1921 would be.
The first surprise of Yaël Farber's The Tragedy Of Macbeth , writes Holly Williams , is that it's taken her so long to tackle the play - it is perfect for the director's moody aesthetic.
'You guys should get out of London. Go and talk to people who are not rich Remainers,' Dominic Cummings once told a mob of hacks on his doorstep.
Angela Black is the latest 'Kitchen Island Thriller' - a genre I just named, you're so welcome - written by the brothers Harry and Jack Williams, who also wrote The Missing, Liar and Rellik.
When you think about it, Coldplay are quite an odd band. They started out sounding like Travis, then they wanted to be Pink Floyd, and these days they're halfway from Supertramp to Take That.
Say 'Somerset' and the chances are someone else will come straight back with 'It's all a bit Notting Hill these days, isn't it?'
The Beatles , who split up 51 years ago, have never gone away. Their compilation 1 is Britain's fourth best-selling album of this century, behind only Adele (twice over) and Amy Winehouse.
The BBC's new Sunday night drama series Ridley Road is great. Just thought I'd get that out there. Also, to its credit, not a glimpse of a submarine, or anyone trapped in a torpedo tube, which ha...
A woman suspects maverick therapist Arthur Collins Braithwaite of causing her sister's suicide and begins to visit him under an assumed identity in order to gather evidence.
With Daniel Craig and No Time To Die dominating UK box offices, it can be difficult even to find alternatives. But they are out there, and some are definitely worth tracking down.
A forensic portrait of a troubled relationship, the classic original 1973 Swedish TV series was written and directed by one of cinema's all-time greats, Ingmar Bergman.
This excellent album, vividly recorded in May at the Yehudi Menuhin School, sheds welcome light on a little known part of Elgar's output: his songs.
After a good first day at Kingsbarns yesterday, in which my pro and I scored six under par, the St Andrews Old Course today proved to be the great leveller it's been for so many over its 257 year...
As a British actress who found fame in the US, starring in The Good Fight, Cush Jumbo now makes a glorious return to our stages.
With energy prices rocketing and talk of a three-day week, the early 1970s are making a comeback. And so are the archetypal band of that era, Genesis.
As a lockdown pastime, Tim Bouverie began emailing his friends brief, chatty essays on pieces of classical music that he had grown to love since childhood.
Busy, busy, busy. Has an autobiography ever been so jam-packed with such ceaseless activity?
The last time James Bond was driving his Aston Martin through Europe and uttered the fateful words 'We have all the time in the world…' was in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Looking back now at the intense media scrutiny and harassment that Britney Spears once had to put up with, a breakdown seems entirely understandable.
The key feature of Vigil, the submarine thriller that concluded this week, was viewers moaning about Vigil while still watching Vigil.
As James Bond fever rocks Britain once again, speculation over Daniel Craig's replacement as 007 is raging ever more ferociously. According to William Hill, I'm 1,000-1 to take over.
In all the time that Ronald Reagan was US President - from 1981 to 1989 - he rarely uttered the word AIDS, and not at all until 1985. This while almost 90,000 Americans died on his watch.
When considering a musical version of the 1985 movie Back To The Future, one problem surely screeched into view: how to put a time-travelling DeLorean on stage?
For centuries, pilgrims would journey across land and sea to cathedrals in which relics of saints - a bone, a rosary, an item of clothing - were on display.
Imagine a world where your life wasn't disrupted by a constant ping of emails, you spoke to your partner rather than WhatsApping them, and your kids weren't glued to TikTok.
David McVicar's production of Rigoletto from 2001 has just been pensioned off, but happily not this Magic Flute from two years later.
Adapted from the bestselling memoir by Stephanie Land and picked by Barack Obama as one of his summer reads.
As I chatted with Rod Stewart and his wife Penny, I congratulated her on becoming an active special constable with City of London Police.
If there is any TV series that does a better job of re-enacting true crime than ITV's Manhunt I do not know it, and would wish you to tell me of it. But I think we all know it doesn't exist.
Osman returns with the much-anticipated follow up to his gigantically popular debut.
The role of potty spiritualist medium Madame Arcati in Noël Coward's sublime supernatural farce is theatrical catnip for a comic actress, so much so that this 1941 play rarely seems far from the...
It's well over a decade since the original run of The Sopranos came to an end on terrestrial television.
After an undistinguished lockdown, the Royal Opera returns with a new production of Verdi's Rigoletto that ultimately promised more than it delivered.
There's no doubt that the eccentrically titled Gunpowder Milkshake begins in style but, sadly, it's a style we've seen many times before.
If you're after a misery memoir, then look to a comedian. In recent years, Alan Davies and Johnny Vegas have published memoirs that suggest their impulse towards comedy was triggered by abuse.
When Catherine the Great of Russia ordered a dinner service from Josiah Wedgwood in 1773, the industrialist's pottery had already become a byword for sophistication around the world.
It is 40 years since Duran Duran arrived in the top ten with Girls On Film. A band remembered for cavorting on a yacht have the wind in their sails again.
There have been several attempts to bring Isaac Asimov's series of epic, sprawling Foundation novels to the screen and Apple TV+ has finally succeeded.
Help is one of those dramas that you are glued to while, at the same time, hating every single minute of it. (Dear God, please make it end soon.) But it was important. And necessary.
I didn't bother going to tonight's National Television Awards because despite receiving my first ever nomination for Presenter of the Year, I already knew Ant and Dec would win.
Is there a more consistently classy novelist than Tóibín? His latest book explores the roller-coaster life of the German writer Thomas Mann.
The 1970s are sometimes dismissed as the decade that taste forgot. These days they feel more like the decade that forgot to finish.
If you have a child aged between two and 20, the chances are you know all the songs. Every. Single. Word.
Right at the end of Respect , the new biopic of Aretha Franklin, its makers score something of an own goal.
The best programme on television at the moment isn't Vigil but Stephen . It is deftly written, deftly performed, sober and meticulous, respectful and affecting.
This was one of the first Apple TV+ original shows and is a hugely entertaining, pacy drama about a news programme.
This stark, stripped-back production of Tennessee Williams's classic drama is directed by Anthony Almeida, who won the Sir Peter Hall Director Award for his vision for it.
The Government's announced a hugely unpopular but entirely predictable tax punishment on the British public today for a pandemic that ripped our economy to smithereens.
After the death of his wife, astrobiologist Theo Byrne struggles to raise their son alone.
Chips must rate as one of the most inappropriate nicknames ever.
Broadcaster and journalist Sarfraz Manzoor grew up as the youngest son of Pakistani immigrants in Bury Park, a predominantly Muslim area of Luton.
This is the mother of all pop reunions. It's bigger than Take That in 2005, because Abba are the greater band. It's bigger even than The Beatles in 1995, because that was just two singles.
Daisy Fellowes was what you might call a textbook heiress. In 1896, at the age of just six, she inherited a fortune thanks to her grandfather Isaac Singer, who had invented the sewing machine.
Hot on the upsetting heels of The Father and Supernova comes another film about dementia.
This year marks the centenary of the death of the French composer, organist and pianist Camille Saint-Saëns.
'It's no trick to support the free speech of somebody you agree with,' said the author Salman Rushdie, whose life was threatened with a fatwa for exercising his right to it.
Comedy fans who had bought a ticket in 2019 for Russell Howard's Respite have been waiting a whopping two-and- a-half years to see the boyish Bristolian strut his slick, stand-up stuff.
Kae Tempest returns to the stage in epic fashion: filling the Olivier with a new version of Sophocles' Philoctetes.
In Rooney's hotly anticipated third novel, two clever Irish millennials navigate the challenges of life and love in their late 20s via long emails.
When negotiations for the film rights to Mary Poppins stalled, Disney started developing Bedknobs And Broomsticks, another story about a mysterious woman teaching children valuable life lessons.
This eagerly awaited Danish drama airs on Channel 4 from next week, but the entire ten-part series is available to stream before then.
Just how good were the good old days? Given the choice, would you prefer to be living back in 1962?
Vigil is the latest thriller from World Productions, makers of Line Of Duty, and the BBC was not shy about this. 'FROM THE MAKERS OF LINE OF DUTY!' you will have read everywhere.
If people know two things about Lucian Freud, it's (a) that he was an excellent artist, and (b) that he had rather an unsavoury private life.
Former army sniper Billy Summers now trades as a hitman for hire, persuading himself that he only kills bad guys. He wants to quit but takes one last, well-paying job.
Nearly two decades after Merseybeat, Liverpool's music scene had a second flowering, producing 1980s student-bedsit stalwarts Echo & the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes.
What to do with old musicals where the tunes soar but the plots creak? Like Carousel, Rodgers and Hammerstein's romantic story of Julie and Billy, a fairground barker who quickly turns abusive.
Fading actor Charles (Steve Martin), past-it theatre director Oliver (Martin Short) and mysterious millennial Mabel (Selena Gomez) all live in the same New York apartment building.
For musicians, the pandemic has brought some terrible pain, from lost colleagues to wrecked livelihoods. But this vast black cloud has two silver linings.
Mastermind returned on Monday for approximately its 455th series with what proved to be a fairly momentous episode.
It's a brilliant title. At first glance, it means nothing, but the simple explanation makes it unforgettable: 4,000 weeks is the sum total of an average human life.
Many films have had their release plans affected by the Covid-19 pandemic but few as badly as Our Ladies.
Glyndebourne ends its season strongly with quality performances of Verdi's Luisa Miller and Wagner's Tristan Und Isolde.
If you're a parent, there are three jobs you should solemnly promise your children you will never take: teacher at their school, prime minister or pop star.
He begins gently enough. 'The truth is, I went to boarding school and I didn't like it.' Fair enough. I too went to boarding school, and I didn't particularly like it either.
The sudden emergence of the extremist Islamist group Isis in 2014 sent shockwaves through the Middle East.
Filmed in Australia but set in the US, this eight-part thriller stars Adrian Grenier, but if you're expecting something similar to his star-making role in the sitcom Entourage, think again.
The last thing we need in our lives is 'wellness'. 'Happiness' is better (certainly more fun), and difficult enough to achieve already, thank you.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella has finally made it to opening night - but while no pumpkin, it's a little short on theatrical fairy dust.
An unnamed narrator leaves New York for a job as a translator at the International Court of Justice, where she's asked to translate for a former president accused of war crimes.
Reminiscence is one of those films that's all about memory, and it's also one part science-fiction time-bender, one part classic detective story in the best film noir tradition.
In the 1500s, the only place for a bright young Englishman was Antwerp.
By and large, Frank Sinatra has been given a rough ride by his biographers.
When Game Of Thrones ended in 2019, showrunners David Benioff and Daniel Weiss signed a huge deal with Netflix. This dry, hugely enjoyable campus comedy drama is their first offering.
The dizzyingly prolific Oates returns with a raw, propulsive tale of love and grief.
Tubular Bells has a curious place in pop history, being both legendary and largely forgotten.
Benedict Cumberbatch's new film, The Courier , is set in the early 1960s, which means vast amounts of alcohol are routinely consumed during the course of the supposedly working day.
Pop star Lily Allen makes her West End debut in this spooky offering, written by podcaster Danny Robins.
Deceit is a drama based on the true story that is the shockingly catastrophic investigation into the 1992 murder of 23-year-old Rachel Nickell.
The gold medal for Twitter zingers goes to my actor son Stanley, 24, who wrote himself out of my will.
Abbott's fiction focuses on femininity's darkest corners and the world of ballet - obsessive and masochistic - is perfect territory for her.
The Duke of Buccleuch announces to his second daughter, the impetuous, flame-haired Lady Margaret: 'Your mother and I have identified a suitable husband for you.'
I Am Victoria starred Suranne Jones as a woman who is mentally unravelling, and it's a TV drama that is hard to recommend because it's so painful and stressful.
Describe a film as a romantic comedy and people tend to have a pretty good idea of what to expect, but describe it as a romance and people can feel uncomfortable.
Today's pop stars tend to be either old or very young. In 2019, as she turned 18, Billie Eilish had the fourth-best-selling UK album of the year, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
The second season of the starry romantic drama anthology series inspired by the New York Times column of the same name.
Pirates, premiered in New York in 1879, was Gilbert & Sullivan's first big hit. It's still done quite a bit today, not just in Britain but internationally.
First seen in 1934, Cole Porter's musical offered lavish escapism in tough times - and it seems our needs haven't changed all that much.
Since founding Facebook in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg has achieved the kind of power that few on the planet can rival, and none could imagine before the internet.
Cyprus, 1974, and Kostas (Greek, Christian) is in love with Defne (Turkish, Muslim). In a bitterly divided Nicosia, there's just one place safe to meet: The Happy Fig.
Are racecourses the new rock 'n' roll? Last summer Britain's leading live music venue was Gosforth Park, Newcastle, where 2,500 socially distanced spectators stood in cattle pens.
The important thing to know about Jungle Cruise is that it's based on a Disney theme-park ride. So what, you might say? So was Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Anyone who saw Adrian Lester in the musical Company knows that he can sing - he won an Olivier Award. Now we know he can spin on his bottom, breakdancing in this belter of a play.
As you will know if you are a regular reader of this column, and as you will now learn if you are an irregular reader of this column I am not a fan of the 'celebrity travelogue'.
Intriguing psychological thriller that requires close attention because the action flicks between the events of June 21, 1993, 1994 and 1995.
Watching diver Tom Daley finally win an Olympic gold medal today reminded me of when he came on Good Morning Britain a few months after he self-imploded at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were an apparently ordinary New York couple who became a cause célèbre.
Lippman's latest is a dark satire of the literary world and psychological thriller. Eminent novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to bed with a broken leg in his Baltimore penthouse.
Oh God, ITV, what on earth have you landed us with here? That's what I kept thinking during the hour that followed.
Paula Rego wouldn't know how to paint a boring picture if she tried. A retrospective for the 86-year-old at Tate Britain showcases her superb skills as a storyteller.
What a drama the Covid-battered theatre has become. Shows are on, then off again for no real rhyme or reason.
There are lots of big set-pieces in this epic action movie that has a strong Indiana Jones/Pirates Of The Caribbean feel and just a hint of The African Queen.
In the Olympics of pop, two countries dominate the medal tables: the US and the UK.
Very unfortunately, Off The Rails has been hit not by one tragedy but two.
Pietro Mascagni is one of the nearly men of Italian opera.
Growing up in Belfast in the 1990s, Alix O'Neill was a slow learner. 'I was never the kind of kid who figured stuff out.'
A richly depicted 17th Century Germany is the setting for award-winning Galchen's triumphant second novel.
Emma Corrin was pitch perfect, almost spookily so, as Diana Spencer in the last Netflix series of The Crown. It made her a star.
Television is finally returning to something like normal now we've seen off the football and tennis.
Vinyl is back, not with a bang, but not with a whimper either. The dear old LP is now outselling the format that usurped it, the CD, and rightly so.
Artistic Director Daniel Evans, both at Chichester and before that at Sheffield, has succeeded in breathing new life into old musicals. And he's got another winner here.
Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) is a small-time college American football coach from Kansas hired to coach a proper football team in London, struggling AFC Richmond.
Some years ago, I was having lunch with an old friend in the garden of a pub in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside.
James Norton is probably best known as the vicar turned detective in the popular ITV series Grantchester.
Much of what we know about Georgian England is down to William Hogarth.
The Union Chapel in Islington is a nonconformist church and shows it by doubling as a gig venue.
A couple who have gone on a camping trip to revitalise their relationship accidentally wander into a 1940s musical.
Richard Nixon was the most ill-at-ease of all the American presidents. Full of resentments, and prone to anxiety and depression, he was known at university as Gloomy Gus.
This fun-filled romp, hugely enjoyed by the audience, and perhaps even more by the cast, with great team spirit, begs the inevitable question: Where did it all go wrong for Count Ory?
Elle Bishop's family has been coming to the same Cape Cod summer camp for generations.
One in five people worldwide suffer from a long-term, debilitating medical condition that wrecks lives and costs economies billions in healthcare and sickness absences
Think of a stinky breeze-block cell in Pakistan. Then imagine an American Wall Street banker hostage trading from it, teaching his Islamic captor how to make serious money.
The unexpected highlight of the week was Bad Influencer: The Great Insta Con.
Not all the big films delayed by the Covid pandemic have been quite worth the wait but, my goodness, Black Widow definitely is.
England beat Germany 2-0.
How short can a short story be? Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway once won a bet by writing a short story just six words long: 'For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.'
Constellations is a play for bee-lovers, honey fans and science nerds. Zoë Wanamaker and Peter Capaldi are part of a team of actors performing in rotation in this short, sweet piece over the sum...
A small club, a big name, a packed house, a palpable buzz: this is the most normal gig I've been to for 15 months.
A French exit, apparently, is when you discreetly leave a party early without saying goodbye to your host, something which, I'm ashamed to say, I've been instinctively doing for years.
Martha Argerich's 80th birthday last month cannot be celebrated with a brand new recording, because there isn't one.
I spent Saturday night shouting at Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis.
When two young gay men are murdered in Virginia, their estranged fathers, one white, one black, decide to take justice into their own hands.
Prehistoric Britons tend to get a bad rap.
Riesling, from its spiritual home in Germany, is one of the greatest treasures of the wine world - and this month I'm delighted to raise my glass to '31 Days of German Riesling'.
Like many people, I'm now facing the possibility of several weeks confined with my four-year-old, a prospect only marginally less alarming than being cooped up with Frankenstein's monster
This is modern Indian cooking at its best, pure but never prissy, with the most eloquent understanding of spice