Arts and Entertainment The dark side: Bill Bailey

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

Third Division: Huddersfield hold upper hand

Lincoln City 1 Huddersfield Town 2

Twelve Angry Men, Assembly Rooms

Stand-ups play it straight in trial triumph

Comedy: GIG OF THE WEEK; Rich Hall Mon The Comedy Store, London SW1

You may think the depravity of prisoners isn't a subject for knock- about comedy. By any conventional standards, Otis Lee Crenshaw, a Deep South convict in jail for "involuntary bigamy" and played by American stand-up Rich Hall, should be prompting letters of outrage to the Attorney General, or at least Anne Robinson. But the more Crenshaw ignores good taste with his spoof Country & Western songs, the more audiences lap him up. "I guess prison rape has got a bit of a bad name," he muses at one point, "but I always said if I ever wrote a song about it, I'd make it romantic." Musical guests include Bill Bailey, Boothby Graffoe, Phil Nichol and Steve Gribbin.

Preview: comedy: mel and sue

Live on stage, comedians Mel and Sue are very much unchanged from their familiar personae on Channel 4's Late Lunch. They display all those qualities which gained them sofa-loads of malingering student fans: they're sassy, saucy, sussed, sarky. Oh, yes, and silly. The pair are at their best when their professionalism is at its worst. During a recent live show, they would often lose it completely in the middle of a sketch, and step out of character to take the mick out of each other's (frequent) fluffs. Rather than appearing self-indulgent, this is actually rather endearing. They appear with Tim Vine, Bill Bailey, Paul Zerdin and Jocelyn Jee at tonight's Alan Davies Appeal Benefit. Alan Davies Appeal Benefit (in aid of the Hackney Empire Appeal Fund), Hackney Empire, London E8 (0181-985 2424) tonight

Staying In: I say, I say, I say

Stand-up Tommy Tiernan talks about serious acting, his new sitcom - and how he'd like to read the News

Historian gets job as head

AN ACADEMIC and former rugby international who has never taught in a school classroom took up a position as headmaster of a leading independent school yesterday.

Festival: Edinburgh fringe

Following last year's furore, Edinburgh Fringe events again begin a week earlier than the International Festival (15 Aug to 4 Sept), running from tomorrow until the end of the month. Despite the wealth of plays, visual art, music, dance and film, the annual Perrier Award ensures that comedy is the main focus of the Fringe. Must-sees include the musical genius of Bill Bailey (left, 24 Aug only); a new outing for blathermeister and Perrier-winner Dylan Moran (13-17 Aug); smug but hilarious Greg Proops (6-19 Aug); ranting from award-winning potter Johnny Vegas (10-15 Aug); and bar-room philosophy from Al Murray Pub Landlord (4-30 Aug). There's a new icy venture, Arctic Boosh (4-30 Aug), from last year's prize-winning newcomers; The Right Size's loopy but very funny hit Do You Come Here Often? (15-30 Aug); and a short run for paper-sculpting impressionist Ennio Marchetto (25-30 Aug). The choice is yours.

Arts: Comedy - Almost ready to rock


Scientists lose huge asteroid

ASTRONOMERS HAVE lost track of an asteroid hundreds of metres wide that could devastate the Earth in 50 years' time. Still, they are not unduly worried: instead they are concentrating on the other 178 lumps of rock that might destroy us first.

Arts: All the way to the bank

Twenty years ago the Comedy Store opened in London, bringing American- style alternative stand-up to the UK for the first time. Today, what was once edgy, angry and subversive has become big business

Football: Schmeichel's spread bet

The handball wizard casts giant shadow on Inter's powers of recovery as the Battle of Milan beckons

Debate: Middle age

An American study last week claimed middle age as the prime of life.

Crusaid benefit

The great thing about charity gigs - apart from the money raised, of course - is that they bring together a host of top comedians who would never usually be seen on the same bill. Four of our finest performers - the cake-loving, man-hating Jo Brand, the master of the delicious double entendre, Julian Clary (right), the Star Wars fanatic, Phill Jupitus, and the wondrous stand-up musician Bill Bailey - are all appearing at tonight's benefit in aid of Crusaid and The Food Chain.
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)

Newcastle winger is in Argentina having chemotherapy

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show?
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week