Peter Buckley Hill says that just because his festival is free, he does not compromise on quality

No laughing matter in Edinburgh as promoters fall out over Free Fringe

Edinburgh Comedy Awards chief warns of ‘terrible’ performances

Stewart Lee performs as Baconface

Edinburgh 2013: Baconface- an in-joke for Stewart Lee devotees

B-b-b-b-baconface. It's hard not to think of Lady Gaga when you're watching someone perform with raw meat draped over their head, albeit with a Mexican wrestling helmet as a protective layer in between.

Josh Widdicombe

My Edinburgh: Josh Widdicombe finds watching other comedians a struggle

I am trying to go and see more shows this year. You'd think, at the Edinburgh festival, that watching shows would be a given. For a month my life is a combination of the world's largest arts festival and day upon day of free time - what else is there to do? A lot, it turns out. I am good at finding excuses. Last year the Olympics was on TV, I can't miss history in the making. And the year before that we had a Playstation in my flat. I'm only human.

Book of the week: The Divine Comedy, By Dante, translated by Clive James

A lifetime's practice of poetry equips James, as translator and interpreter, to scale this summit

High-vis low comedy: (from left) Luke Gell, David Haig, Mina Anwar and Toby Longworth in 'The Wright Way'

BBC axes 'bruised' Ben Elton's TV flop 'The Wright Way'

BBC2 sitcom Heading Out has also been dropped

DVD & Blu-ray review: Portlandia (15)

Jonathan Krisel DVD/Blu-ray (350mins)

Alan Davies, Stephen Fry on BBC panel show QI

QI producer John Lloyd plans to challenge broadcasters online over 'moribund' state of British TV

John Lloyd, the brains behind some of Britain's most successful comedy shows of the past 40 years, is planning to use his QI production company to challenge broadcasters online because of his despair at the "moribund" state of television commissioning.

Crash course: Small-screen politics

TIMELINE

Boyd Tonkin: Those scary, monstrous feminazis - they still dare to run a book prize

A lot of Pinot Grigio has passed under the bridge since, at a small-scale and low-key event, I saw Helen Dunmore receive the inaugural Orange Prize for fiction in 1996. Dunmore, who won for the outstanding A Spell of Winter, goes from strength to strength.

DVD & Blu-ray review: Horrible Histories: Series 4 (PG)

Dominic Brigstocke, Steve Connelly DVD/Blu-ray (360mins)

Last Night's Viewing: Up the Women, BBC4
Playhouse Presents: Psychobitches, Sky Arts 1

There was an unnerving moment in the first episode of Up the Women when it looked as if Jessica Hynes might have contracted a bad case of Eltonitis, an inflammation of the funny bone that can render even the most talented writers temporarily witless.

Album: Crystal Fighters, Cave Rave (Zirkulo/Pias)

The second Crystal Fighters album channels Hispanic folk and Afrobeat through Anglo-American indie rock and their own half-baked spirituality.

DVD review: Hyde Park on Hudson

Roger Michell's unofficial sequel to The King's Speech has Bertie and the Queen Mum visiting Franklin D Roosevelt (Bill Murray) at his mother's country mansion.

(l-r) Phoebe Aldridge (LUCY MORRIS), Roy Tucker (IAN PEPPERELL), Hayley Tucker (Lorraine Coady) in The Archers

The Archers 'does not compete with EastEnders' for sensational storylines

The Archers' outgoing editor Vanessa Whitburn has denied that the drama has been competing with soaps such as EastEnders for sensational storylines.

Michael Frayn: manipulates his cast like a mischievous Olympian deity

Paperback review: Skio, By Michael Frayn

Beware of Greeks bearing iPhones

Career Services

Day In a Page

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?