Arts and Entertainment

Despite my obsession with Game of Thrones and Lucy Worsley’s The First Georgians right now, I am still televisually smitten with MTV’s Catfish. The show that exposes online love fraudsters. The throwaway youth TV show that one’s mind just cannot throw away. Instead, one sits post- episode genuinely saddened that our human need to love and be loved is so destructive. Or that  the earth’s supply of gullible optimists may well be infinite.

Discover Ben Target, Underbelly, Edinburgh

Ben Target (pronounced Tar-jay) has clearly taken the original spirit of the Fringe to heart in this show, which attempts to create a kind of ‘happening’ in the space of an hour-long comedy gig.

Tim Vine: “I took part in the sun tanning Olympics – I just got Bronze”

The Fringe funnies

Q: What do you call a joke about Posh and Becks? A: Edinburgh's best

Tim Vine: “I took part in the sun tanning Olympics – I just got Bronze”

Q: What do you call a joke about Posh and Becks? A: Edinburgh's best

Nick Clark reports on the competition to find the finest Fringe funny

Stewart Francis: “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks”

Francis usurps Vine as the king of the one-liners

David and Victoria Beckham are no strangers to comedians' barbs – and now one jibe aimed at the celebrity pair has earned comedian Stewart Francis the honour of the best joke at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Edinburgh Diary

Comedian recalls useful advice that started him on the path to glory

COALITION: Comedians Phill Jupitus and Jo Caulfield help chart the final days of the coalition government in late 2014: the Conservative PM and his Lib Dem deputy have not spoken for months. Co-written by Robert Khan, a Labour councillor in Islington, north London, the show premieres at Edinburgh's Pleasance Dome in August

Low ticket sales are nothing for Edinburgh to laugh about

The Olympics and a wider economic malaise have seen stand-ups playing to audiences numbering in single figures. By Nick Clark

Adam Johnson fights for the ball with Italy’s Federico Balzaretti

Plenty of Olympic spirit but passion is in short supply as England defeat Italy

Football should change to reflect the edifying attitude evidenced at London 2012, but England's friendly against Italy last night should be a warning not to over-sanitise a game built on tribalism and passion.

More than just Essex jokes from Alan Davies

More than a decade has passed since everyone's favourite "dunce" from QI last flexed his stand-up muscles, so he has some catching up to do.

For straight-up stand-up, Felicity Ward's 'The Hedgehog Dilemma' at Underbelly will be difficult to beat this year

Edinburgh comedy: Got a hedgehog complex? Send for Felicity Ward!

Most comics making their Edinburgh debut would be grateful for a packed house, but not David Trent.

Mark Watson: The Information, Assembly George Square, Edinburgh

This latest offering from the breathless, neurotic nerd Mark Watson, known for, among other things, his “non speaking roles” on Mock the Week, constantly suggests that it is going to amount to something more than it is.

Watson casts the net a bit too wide

This latest offering from the breathless, neurotic nerd Mark Watson (known for, among other things, his "non-speaking roles" on Mock The Week) constantly suggests that it is going to amount to something more than it is.

David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Eighteen months ago David Trent, a 40-year old junior school teacher, performed some of his video-assisted routines in front of hundreds of people at the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year award.

Somalia: Comic shot dead after mocking Islamist militants

A popular Somali comic and playwright who mocked Islamist militants for brainwashing children and killing civilians has been shot dead.

British rower Steve Redgrave carries the flag of his delegation in 1996

Chris Hewett: Steve Redgrave the same class act on the airwaves as he was on the water

Critic without a ticket: Britain's finest Olympian has an anti-BS antenna and is incapable of not telling it like it is

North Greenwich Arena, one of the Olympic venues

London 2012 Inside Track: Let the fun and Games begin!

From our right-royal new Bond girl to canapé-munching ministers and cyclists caught short, Matt Chorley takes a light-hearted run at Olympic life

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system