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James Rampton on comedy

The sign that Jo Brand (below) has truly made it is that she is only going up to Edinburgh for two charity shows this year. Like Lee Evans or Mark Thomas, she has reached that stage in her career when she no longer needs the toil of a three-week run at a Fringe venue in order to bolster her profile. Her Channel 4 television show - Jo Brand Through the Cakehole - and various other outlets (including a weekly column in this newspaper) do quite enough of that already, thank you.

The Proms

Tonight's Prom

The Independent Mind Olympics

With today's questions, our Mind Olympics come to an end. Remember, a set of correct answers to any single day's questions will qualify you for entry to the weekly draw from which one entrant will win pounds 100 worth of Waterstone's book vouchers. At the very end, all correct entries will go back into the hat for another chance to win the grand prize of a 21- volume Macmillan Family Encyclopaedia (worth pounds 525).

Site Unseen: The Panels on The Monument, London EC3

The recent re-opening of the Monument in the heart of the City of London means that anyone unable to afford the sub for an expensive health club can now come here for exercise. Its 311 steps will test the lungs to bursting point but the prospect from the top is breathtaking.

Angela Lewis on pop

All is not quite as it seems with Neil Hannon (below right), the vocalist and songwriter from The Divine Comedy. The band's album, appropriately titled Casanova, casts the Northern Irish lad Neil as a debonair lady killer with a champagne lifestyle, and the dashing style and wit to snare any female who catches his twinkling eye. And the songs in which he casts himself as a hero are not mere pop music - they're laden with all the string-quartet pomp and drama of a West End musical.

Today's ticket offer

Bubblegum Crash

Poetic licence: The shop-an-MP scheme

The culture of informing upon your neighbours has been stepped up by Peter Lilley's new call to shop benefit fraudsters. Perhaps it could go one step further

Ryan Gilbey on film

Forget dumb movies or disaster epics: this year's new big thing is the revival. In the past two months alone, we've had another chance to wade through the first two Godfather films; Lawrence of Arabia, In the Realm of the Senses, the Coen brothers' Blood Simple (below right), Renoir's La Regle du Jeu, Hammer's 1958 Dracula and My Beautiful Launderette, with Welles's Touch of Evil still to come in October. If this trend gathers any more momentum, we'll be seeing revivals of films which have yet to have their first run. But this isn't a gripe: it's a cause for celebration. With the country's repertory cinemas in a permanent state of decline and under-funding, there are far too few slices of cinema history available on far too few cinema screens. And with most rep cinemas limited to one- off screenings in double- or triple-bills, it's often a case of being in the right place at the right time in order to catch whatever it is that takes your fancy. So these full-on revivals provide an education for anyone with even a fleeting interest in cinema, gazumping the reductive TV screenings on which many of us got our first taste of these films.

9 - 15 August day planner

Today

The 24 Seven Guide: Keep the balls rolling

The principles of Crown Green and boules may be the same, but British and French attitudes could hardly be further apart. Daniel Synge gets jack high on bowls and petanque

David Benedict on theatre

What do you do when you're handed a trunkload of songs and told to write a movie out of them? Pen the Oscar-winning screenplay of Singin' in the Rain, silly. That's if you're Betty Comden and Adolph Green. These twin giants of stage and screen arrived on Broadway in 1944 in spectacular fashion by writing and starring in On the Town. It was also the Broadway debut for their old pal Leonard Bernstein (the punchy, brassy score is sensational), and of director and choreographer Jerome Robbins.

Iain Gale on exhibitions

Occasionally, an exhibition comes along which, while relatively small in scale, highlights a vital aspect of art history. Such is the case with the Tate's current exhibition in its lower galleries, exploring the art of Hans Hartung.

Television & Radio: Love thy neighbour

Stereotypical gunmen in balaclavas bite the bullet in a new Northern Irish sitcom with an altogether more human touch. James Rampton reports

Television & Radio: On the box

Keith Michell has a longstanding relationship with Henry VIII. He re-acquaints himself with the gargantuan old monarch in BBC1's new adaptation of the classic family serial, The Prince and the Pauper. To be broadcast in the Sunday teatime slot during the autumn, the series marks the third time Michell has donned the padding for the multi-married king He first played the part in the celebrated 1970 BBC series, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, before reprising the role in the 1972 feature film, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, which was based on the television series. Thirteen year-old Philip Sarson takes the role of Tom/Prince Edward, which represented Nicholas Lyndhurst's big break when the BBC last adapted The Prince and the Pauper in 1976. Surprisingly, this version of Mark Twain's novel is the BBC's first major Tudor drama series for 20 years. All those whiskers must have been rotting away for two decades in a drawer somewhere.

Alister Morgan on beach volleyball

Summertime in the capital has been known to offer jovial jaunts on the Thames and, occasionally, even searing sunshine, but its inhabitants can still be relied upon to head for those rare places that offer an intoxicating combination of sand and surf.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
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
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor