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

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect