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

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?