Cariad Lloyd: The comedian on her tap-dancing past, her addiction to reality shows, and her 'affair' with David Bowie

I didn't intend to become a comedian I wanted to be a serious actor. None of my family were in the business and I didn't even know that comedy was a job. I was obsessed with comedy as a child – Blackadder, Red Dwarf – but I started out acting in very serious plays about people being burnt alive.

Veronica Lee: Losing your comedy partner is no laughing matter

Last week, it was a pleasurable surprise to hear Dawn French announce her first solo tour. Since she and erstwhile comedy partner Jennifer Saunders did their last gigs together in 2008, French has successfully focused on writing books and gave no hint that she had ambitions to start performing solo at the age of 56.

Big time: Jimmy Fallon on 'The Tonight Show'

Where is the UK's Jimmy Fallon?

We need more of the old-style entertainer

Bill Hicks quotes: 10 classic jokes 20 years on ‘It’s always funny until someone gets hurt. Then it’s just hilarious’

To mark the 20th anniversary of his death, we revisit some of the best lines from the acerbic king of stand-up comedy

The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014

Lily Allen, Alan Sugar and Sir Terry Wogan for Michael McIntyre's first chat show

The comedian will take to his sofa for the debut show on Monday 10 March

Dara O'Briain thinks the BBC's ruling on all-male comedy panels shows such as Mock the Week should have 'evolved'

Dara O'Briain: BBC ban on all-male comedy panels will lead to 'token woman' tag

The Mock the Week presenter thinks the ruling should have 'evolved'

Euro star: Eddie Izzard performing his 'Force Majeure' show in German

Eddie Izzard: Why the Germans do have a sense of humour

Eddie Izzard is performing his stand-up show in German to an audience in Berlin. And his 'comedy without borders' has a serious political point to make, he tells Kit Holden

Josh Widdicombe interview: Has Britain found its own Seinfeld?

With stage, TV and radio gigs, comic Josh Widdicombe is everywhere. Lucky he’s so talented

Stranger than fiction: Nathan Penlington performs ‘Choose Your Own Documentary’

The Week in Comedy: How does Nathan Penlington's comedy quest end? You decide...

To stand up on stage and perform a one-man show is an act of bravery. To stand up on stage and perform a one-man show that has 1,566 possible versions and five possible endings, and then to hand the controls of that show over to an audience is an act of madness.

Grim croaker: Arthur Smith could not leave Cohen alone. ‘Every comic wants to be a rock star and Leonard was the kind I could aim for,’ he says

My life with Leonard Cohen

Comic Arthur Smith is back singing his songbook on stage. Here he charts his enduring fandom

The Stand-up: Miles Jupp, On Tour

What is it? Stand-up comic and star of TV’s Rev, Balamory, and many panel shows, tours his new live set, Miles Jupp is the Chap You’re Thinking Of.

Shock of the news: ‘Mock the Week’ host Dara O'Briain with male panellists Hugh Dennis and Andy Parsons

The Week in Comedy: Women can stand up for themselves

Here's a little comedy quiz. Everyone loves a comedy quiz, especially television commissioners, who cannot get enough of them. You may have heard the questions a few times before, but here goes (1) Are women as funny as men? And (2) not unrelated, should there be more women on panel shows? The answers are yes and yes, and always have been, but that does not stop the two questions being asked with tedious regularity.

Comedian Miles Jupp

Miles Jupp Is The Chap You're Thinking Of, comedy review

Ambassadors Theatre, London

Pundit: comedian Simon Brodkin will host tonight’s war of words

The inaugural UK Pun Championships will kick off tonight - it's punbelievable that we've never had one before...

Whatever your tolerance for silly one-liners, puns are really groan on us. You could say we are in the grip of a global pun-demic. Indeed, if the pun is to wordplay, as William Safire, the late New York Times writer said, "what dominatrix sex is to foreplay – a stinging whip that elicits groans of guilty pleasure" then we have rarely been keener gluttons for pun-ishment.

Robert Newman: The comedian on freestyle skating, West End lies and evolution

I doubt anyone has had a fulfilling experience going to an arena-comedy gig Big-show arenas are compromised ergonomically, though I blame myself for the success of them, as I set a bad precedent. [Newman and his then-comedy partner David Baddiel were the first comedians to sell out the 12,000-seat Wembley Arena, in 1993.] I felt discombobulated and everything was out of time. Even the great Steve Martin struggled [with arena-sized shows]. My favourite gigs are places with low ceilings and the smell of gig juice on the floor.

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