Mark Steel

Commentator and stand-up comedian Mark Steel has presented several radio and television programmes, and appeared on Have I Got News for You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. In 2006 he published 'Vive La Revolution: A Stand-up History of the French Revolution', and in 2000 stood as a candidate in the London Assembly elections.

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At last Cuba is free to become more like the glorious US of A!

You've got to worry for Fidel's health now, though...

Food bank operators report that people in low-paid work are turning up during their lunch breaks seeking help

Food banks: Don’t you people know how to make a banquet out of bugger all?

If these people knew how to cook, they’d be able to make nothing last for several weeks

This nativity play at Mudchute Farm, east London, incorporated 21st-century props and ideas

Nativity plays: Don’t be silly, of course the talking sheep and pregnant virgin are real

Perhaps the rule with nativity plays should be that anyone who thinks they matter shouldn't be allowed to have anything to do with them

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, will commit himself to closing the loophole which allows agencies to undercut the wages of permanent staff, and to put those which flout the law out of business

To truly appeal to the common man, Ed needs to get a Doberman

His problem is if he does win the election he’ll have to keep it up

A petition calling for Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party, to be included has been signed by nearly 200,000 people

Let me list the reasons that the Green Party should definitely not be allowed into the TV election debates...

Once you have five people in a debate, it becomes too unmanageable

Labour leader Ed Miliband during his speech to party supporters at the University of London

When will Miliband get the message from his party and stop acting like a Labour politician?

His critics within the party seem scared to propose anything that might upset their opponents

If you've ever thought about speaking out against immigration, beware — you could become a lord

Or even worse, Jeremy Clarkson. Are those who are anti-immigration really as marginalised as they say they are?

Russell Brand makes an appearance at the People's March for the NHS

If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it

It's a truth universally acknowledged that his detractors have always made perfect sense

The Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf heads the inquiry

Why should Fiona Woolf be expected to remember every dinner date?

If they have to replace her they could always get Lady Brittan to do the job instead

Some believe that David Cameron is to blame for allowing Alex Salmond a referendum

With Scotland, Cameron’s taken broken promises to a whole new level

Whatever you think about Scottish independence, doing the opposite of what is pledged or vowed appears to be the rule now

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there