Arts and Entertainment

Comedian 'overwhelmed' by response from public

Last Night's Television - Paradox, BBC1; Cast Offs, Channel 4

Time scene investigation

So who are we?

It's a question simply too difficult to answer, says Tom Lubbock, as a fascinating new exhibition opens exploring the nature of identity.

Discussing the disabled: Readers' views

Last week, Ian Birrell wrote calling for an end to the casual use of words such as 'retard' that reveal the bigotry with which disabled people are treated. Here, readers offer their views

On the agenda: Harry Brown; Radley; Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre; Masterchef; Ctrl.Alt.Shift

You've got to ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, you should – the vigilantes are back...

Visual merchandising: 'When a new range is doing well, it is a personal achievement'

We all know the power that a well-designed shop window can hold over us; in one glance, you can be transported into a different world. Behind the glass, the season's "must-buy" products come alive through a visual story that compels you to enter the store and part with your cash.

CCTV –
the game

Forget the adage that Big Brother is watching you – an online game aims to turn the tables, letting members of the public become the watchmen.

Don't panic! Hitchhikers are back

It is a rare glimpse into the life of a man who has inspired millions of people: Douglas Adams, the creator of the phenomenally successful Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is to be celebrated this weekend – 30 years after it was created and eight years after his death.

Tony Paterson: From Big Brother ... to Foreign Minister

Coming from the man expected to become Germany's foreign minister, it was an enlightening foretaste of a new Teutonic assertiveness in international affairs: Guido Westerwelle refused to answer a question in English at his debut press conference.

Guy Adams: Big brother: a part of the American DNA

LA Notebook

Woodstock Sketch: It may be closing its doors, but 'Big Brother' is shown no mercy

In front of 200 of the most intelligent people in this part of the country, the Enterprise Centre (or the Marlborough school hall as we used to call it) in Woodstock hosted The Independent's debate on the degrading effects of reality TV. Thank you for having us.

Channel 4's CEO Andy Duncan resigns

Andy Duncan, the chief executive of Channel 4, has resigned. The decision leaves the broadcaster in danger of a crisis of leadership as Ofcom, the media watchdog, seeks to find a replacement for the Channel 4 chairman, Luke Johnson, who is also obliged to stand down in January.

My Orwellian nightmare: a future without Big Brother

In axeing their most popular series, the Channel 4 bosses have ignored their public, argues Neil Boom

Katy Guest: A follow-up to 'Big Brother'? Here's an idea

Farewell, then, Big Brother – daring social experiment turned ruthlessly efficient famous-making machine turned public flogging of mental defectives for an ostensibly 21st-century audience. Last week, Channel 4 confirmed that it will not be screening the show after next year's series comes to an end. The programme's 10-year, downhill rollercoaster ride has seen ratings drop from 10 million to two million, during which time the Elstree studios have begun to echo with the teeth-grinding screech of barrels being scraped and even Davina McCall has struggled to act enthusiastic about the visibly withering format.

A victim of its own success: why Big Brother had to be evicted

The reality show has been eclipsed by social networking – a craze it helped create, says Ian Burrell

David Prosser: A salutary lesson in TV economics

Outlook Channel Four no doubt has all sorts of cultural reasons for dropping Big Brother after a final series next summer but, as ever in television, the biggest imperative is a financial one. With hindsight, the beginning of the end for the show on mainstream telly in the UK – though note that Endemol licenses it to 66 other countries – came in 2007, when Channel Four signed a contract with the production company for three more series.

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Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
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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
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride