Arts and Entertainment On the cutting edge: Johnny Vegas, from the Face of Satire exhibition at the BFI

On 26 February, Spitting Image will celebrate its 30 birthday. BBC Four will mark the occasion with a special episode of Arena which promises to tell the “vexed and frequently hilarious story” of the sketch show which ran for 21 series between 1984 and 1996 and marked a high point in British satire.

Mr & Mrs Smith (15)

A marriage to die for

Preview: BOOK NOW

"Do not think because you are coloured you cannot accomplish anything," pronounced Frederick Douglass in 1893. Runaway Diamonds is a powerful production that traces the life of Douglass, who became a leader in the abolitionist movement and the first black citizen to hold high rank in the US government. West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds (0113-213 7700) 8 to 12 Mar

Arts: Blake, Shakespeare, Orwell... and Jennings

The poetic vision of Humphrey Jennings' films can stand comparison with the work of England's greatest writers. So why is he so neglected here?

Film: The beauty in the beast

Fritz Lang's films were violent, he regularly upset the people he worked with and he couldn't answer a straight question. All the more reason to love him, says Geoffrey Macnab

Film Studies: He could hardly conceive of a face not beautiful

There are horror stories these days about kids who regard Jaws and Star Wars as the first films ever made, so that everything else should follow in their image. So many new films reveal no motive except making money. And so it is with wonder and gratitude that I watch the rising reputation of Robert Bresson. After a very successful tour of the US, a Bresson retrospective played at the Edinburgh Film Festival and now comes to the National Film Theatre in London. Austerity has its day.

Kubrick's final, final legacy: a new paint job for '2001'

A UNIQUE new print of the classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey which was personally supervised by the director Stanley Kubrick will be shown for the first time next month.

Early `Dr Who' episodes saved from extermination

RARE EARLY episodes of the cult television series Dr Who, not seen in public since they were broadcast in 1964, are to be shown next month.

Film: From gangland to the casino table

Get Carter has the single-minded narrative focus of a classic B movie. Director Mike Hodges (pictured right), it transpires, was weaned on them at his local cinema. It also has a graphic brutality that was very much of its post-Bonny and Clyde era. The film was produced by MGM and Hodges recalls how his producers pressured him for more star-power for their dollars than Caine alone. Having threatened to walk off the project, Hodges opted for a supporting cast comprising representative faces from that distinctive second rank of early-Seventies screen talent busy perfecting the demeanour of dodgy second-hand car dealers. Ian Hendry plays a weasel of a chauffeur and Glyn Edwards, who was later to materialise pulling pints in Minder, an opportunist lowlife. The playwright John Osborne makes a smoothly sinister crime kingpin and Bryan Mosley - that's Alf Roberts to you and me - plays a blustering local developer.

Film studies: Not much ado about anything Branagh does now

Just between you and me, what has happened to Kenneth Branagh?

Film: Lesbian And Gay Festival

This year's Lesbian & Gay Film Festival packs its normal punch with a wide-ranging programme highlighting the best of "queer cinema". The 13th annual event opens with the sensual yet poignant romance High Art (left), billed as the hottest lesbian feature to hit UK screens since Bound. There are also more than 20 films exploring the experiences of queer youth around the world, and Billy Hollywood's Screen Kiss, recently voted the most popular US gay film of 1998. Other innovative features include the Singalong-a-Sound-of-Music and Barbie Nation: An unauthorised tour (both 18 Apr, NFT1), an exploration of the bleached-blonde babe ethos.

Harold Lloyd got in, and we hit the police car

As the `third genius' of the silent era is celebrated at the National Film Theatre, Constance Cummings tells Matthew Sweet what it was like to be his co-star
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JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
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Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

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The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
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The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
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The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
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Robbie Rogers: US former Leeds United footballer, 25, announced he was gay in February 2013, shortly after he left Elland Road. Rogers 'retired' after writing on his blog: 'I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay.' Has since signed with Los Angeles Galaxy.
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Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
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All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game