(note: the (.*) is only for testing at the moment)
Then, i select a record with a Title of $test2. All works fine until i come to a name with a special character…then its fails (i.e. no record is retrieved)
In the database i have used html coding for the ‘Titles’, i.e Popìne for Popìne.
Because of the amount of accents possible, i was thinking would it be best to add the special characters without the html markup, and then somehow process them later to appear in the correct format on the page…
Yep. Store text in the database as text - not html. You would want to use a charset that covers all the possible characters. UTF-8 has you covered for this. In general, defaulting to UTF-8 is a good idea, because it saves you from having to go through a painful migration later on.
The accents/special characters will look fine in html, if you just serve the page in UTF-8 as well.