Alice Jones

Alice Jones is Deputy Arts Editor of The Independent.

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The Week in Comedy: Damn the Torpedoes! is a unique kind of war comedy

War? What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Although I suppose you could say that it has inspired a fine seam of sitcoms down the decades. Some of the finest - from the enduring daftness of Dad’s Army to the wisecracking M*A*S*H, to the best war comedy ever written, the peerless, poignant Blackadder Goes Forth.

Gian Sammarco plays Adrian Mole in 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole'

What I learnt about boys from the genius comic creation that was Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole

The author’s death takes me back to the joy that was the hapless teenager’s secret diary

The Week in Comedy: Margaret Thatcher is still the butt of many jokes

On 8 April 2013 I went to a comedy club. I hadn’t been planning to but Margaret Thatcher had just died, the road to my flat in Brixton was blocked with confused, champagne-spraying revellers and I figured if ever there was a time for political comedy to make a comeback, this might be it. So I went to Old Rope, an excellent weekly night in the basement of The Phoenix pub in London where comedians young and old, green and established, try out their freshest, totally unproven jokes on a relaxed crowd.

Moment of spoof: Jason Watkins in BBC2 comedy ‘W1A’

The Week in Comedy: Something in the air as White City reaches out to outsiders in W1A

What's the best way to go about writing a BBC comedy? If you were to make a sly joke you might say that the shortest route to prime-time is to set your sitcom in the BBC. W1A is having a whale of a time in its plum 10pm slot, gently tickling the bureaucratic excesses of the corporation while doling out cameos to its great and good. The take-home message: as Ian Fletcher might say, we might be ridiculous, but we're still the best that you have; that'll be £145.50, please. (To be fair, the show hit its stride in its second episode this week, thanks largely to Siobhan Sharpe's inept live tweeting of Woman's Hour.)

No makeup selfie: It's hard to argue with £1 million raised for cancer research - but to say that these snaps are courageous is simply nonsense

Like The Sun’s breast cancer campaign, this trend glosses over the reality of cancer

Lynn Ruth Miller, 80, has found a new career as a sharp stand-up

The rise of the silver stand-up

Laughter Lines: The Week in Comedy

So much for models with PhDs. If they’re all still slim, young and attractive, it’s hardly clever

Brains are sexy - but the implication here is still that looks come first

The grin reaper: Barack Obama on ‘Between Two Ferns’

The Week in Comedy: President Obama – it's the way he tells 'em

Comedy - it makes people laugh but can it change the world? Barack Obama thinks it can. This week the President of the United States made his funnyordie.com debut when he agreed to be interviewed on Between Two Ferns.

Kirsty Wark is critical of television’s ‘unbelievable’ gender

Top Gear makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells Independent Bath Literature Festival

The BBC presenter was chairing a discussion about women in public life

AL Kennedy says the publishing industry is ‘self-defeating’

Independent Bath Literature Festival: AL Kennedy - book trade obsessed by thirtysomethings

“Bland, dull and repetitive” and obsessed with the lives of thirtysomethings in north‑west London – that is the parlous state of new literary fiction in the UK, according to one of its top practitioners.

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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering