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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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links