Arts and Entertainment The dark side: Bill Bailey

Cultural Life: The comedian on his favourite music, film, tv and theatre picks

Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath performing last month

After 13 tops the charts, Black Sabbath win double at Golden Gods awards

Chart-topping metallers Black Sabbath crowned their comeback with a double win at a top rock awards event.

Rupert Murdoch has stated that he is trying transcendental meditation

'Trying transcendental meditation... not that easy to get started': Rupert Murdoch goes in search of his inner hippie

Holy media moguls! Has Rupert Murdoch discovered his spiritual side? Will the global maestro of plain dealing, pragmatism and unfettered capitalism reveal a mystical side to his thunderstruck associates?

Vote keeps US government going

The Republican House of Representatives voted to keep the US government going until the end of September, paving the way for the Senate to approve the measure to avoid a shutdown of federal agencies.

Diary: January's cold shoulder

Last week, this column was illustrated exclusively by middle-aged men, so I'm jolly grateful to Zach Galifianakis, star of The Hangover and its forthcoming sequel, for saying something mildly interesting about an attractive young lady. January Jones, best known as Mad Men's Betty Draper, recently claimed that Galifianakis (whose name I remain unable to spell without cutting and pasting it from the internet) was the most naturally funny man she'd ever met.

Stand-out stand-up: comedians name their favourite funnyman

Daniel Kitson, a comic virtually unknown to mainstream television audiences, today received the ultimate accolade when he was declared the funniest man in the business by his contemporaries.

Julie Burchill: Why the holier-than-thou hypocrites will always be rumbled in the jungle

"You are what you eat" – how many times a day do we come across this flagrant lie masquerading as modern wisdom? It's right up there with "If you look good, you feel good" (tell that to Marilyn Monroe) and "The abused abuse" (if that was true the majority of paedophiles would be female, and they're not).

Bill Bailey: Dandelion Mind, Wyndham's Theatre, London

Comedian's show fails to fully flower

Heard the one about Channel 4?

It was the home of anarchic humour in the Eighties and now it wants to define comedy for a new generation. Ian Burrell discovers why the broadcaster is playing it for laughs

Party reaction: Liberal Democrats fear deal will provoke exodus

Unease at prospect of sitting alongside Conservatives

The Snow Queen, The Coliseum, London

Michael Corder's The Snow Queen is glittering but bland. Adapting Hans Christian Andersen's tale for English National Ballet, he has chosen sparkling Prokofiev music with traditional designs and classical steps. He gives the dancers plenty of technical challenges, but not much to get their teeth into.

Stand up guy: Bill Bailey on music, marriage and the moment he refused to sell out

He wooed his wife with love letters. He plays every instrument under the sun. And he lives in a menagerie. What's not to like about Bill Bailey?

Going back to his roots: Bill Bailey injects some humour into music

The comedian discusses his remarkable guide to the orchestra...

Dylan Moran: 'I am a bit of a bumbling man, as you can tell..."

Despite his trademark moroseness, it seems that Dylan Moran may not be quite the crank he's cracked himself up to be
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...