The Saturday Miscellany: The Footlights vs Doctor Brown; Anthony Weiner; Dishoom; Bristol Balloon Fiesta; Fortnum & Mason's 'hamperling'


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The Independent Culture

Culture clash: Edinburgh award winners

The Footlights vs Doctor Brown

By Holly Williams

The first-ever winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award – the Perrier as it was in 1981 – wasn't a stand-up, but one of those ridiculous collections of over-talented youngsters that pop up sometimes: the Cambridge Footlights Revue, featuring Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Tony Slattery and Paul Shearer, directed by Jan Ravens. Many a TV and film career was launched.

Last year's winner – it's the Foster's Award now – was Doctor Brown (real name: Phil Burgers), with his show Befrdfgth. Doctor Brown plays the clown; the wordless show involves careful, creepy, very funny visual jokes and audience pranks. Brilliant, but hardly transferable; it seems unlikely he'll "do a Stephen Fry" (or a Laurie, or a Thompson).

The winner: Cambridge Footlights

The deleted emails of... Anthony Weiner (as read by John Walsh)

From: a.weiner@weiner
Sent: 1 August 2013
Subject: damage limitation

Hi Tom, thanks for yr sympathetic words. I guess I am looking kinda "haggard and woebe-gone" as you say, and thanks for pointing out my "repertoire of I'm-a-loser facial expressions". But when you suggest "damage limitation", I'm scratching my head here. I mean, the damn iPhone pix are out there and you can't un-see them.

But how about this: I send some of the girls a new batch of pix, showing harmless body parts – knee, elbow, nose, earlobe – to indicate I'm a Changed Man with Changed Priorities? Yeah! That could work! New Yorkers love a fresh start. Or if that's too impersonal, maybe a pic of me sitting at a desk stroking a kitten on my lap? I could be naked, to indicate I have Nothing to Hide, and the kitten would represent my Essential Innocence. Or maybe boxer shorts? Let me know your thoughts! AW

Instant ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. I'm really indecisive when it comes to choosing what to have for lunch. Help!

A. Just have the tuna sandwich. Have it every day for a month, in fact, and then at the exact moment your boredom with tuna sandwiches reaches its apex, lunch inspiration will strike.



By Liam O'Brien


Dishoom restaurant in Shoreditch is holding a special Eid celebration tomorrow, with a feast, performances, crafts, games and henna designs.


Early birds should head to the Ashton Court Estate for 6am tomorrow to see the mass ascent of hot air balloons at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, but there's plenty on later.


Fortnum & Mason's 'hamperling', available at the Serpentine Pavilion, has delightful finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and teas. £25

Indy Index

By Liam O'Brien

Despite vows from the Church of England to put Wonga out of business it emerged that it holds an indirect stake in the firm worth around £75,000

The Church's total investment portfolio is valued at £5.5bn

The CoE's Ethical Investment Advisory Group "recommends against" investing in companies which make more than 3 per cent of their income from pornography

It's hard to estimate the value of the Catholic Church, but in 1965 its worth was put at $15bn

Sex abuse cases have cost the Catholic Church $3bn (£1.9bn) in the US alone

In 2010, a South Korean man was charged with fraud after making £870,000 by selling tap water as holy water

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints rakes in £4.5bn a year in donations

A sightseeing ticket to St Paul's Cathedral costs £16 for adults

The Occupy protest outside St Paul's cost the City of London and the Met Police £1.06m