Arts and Entertainment Brace yourself: Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves in 'House of Fools'

Vic and Bob have done sketch shows (The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer), web series (Vic & Bob’s Afternoon Delights), comedy dramas (Catterick, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)) and the greatest quiz show of all time (Shooting Stars), but until now they’ve never done a sitcom as sit-commy as this. Their new show, House of Fools (BBC2), is filmed in front of a live studio audience, and the duo play Odd Couple-style flatmates in a home filled with bizarre bric-à-brac and beset by unwelcome visitors.

Going potty: Anna Pavord's greenhouse is getting a bit crowded

Our greenhouse, now just over a year old, evolved from a shed that was already in place, so its dimensions (roughly 4m wide by 2.65m long) were pre-determined. To a great extent, so was its function. I wanted to grow a nectarine on the solid back wall, which faces west. And I've got more and more interested in growing plants in pots to bring into the house. But until the arrival of the greenhouse, I was hampered by having few places to keep them while they were revving up for their performance. Fortunately, the south facing side of the new space has proved to be an ideal place in which to bring them on.

Let’s Get Quizzical, Radio 4 Extra, Saturday

No need to be sorry, really

When sports stars lose it

In an incident more sex, drugs and rock n roll than afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches, cricketer Ricky Ponting stands accused of smashing up a television set.

Ready to acquire a taste for the 'vacuum cleaners of the sea'?

It breathes through its anus, can liquefy its body and acts as the waste collectors of the seabed. Scientists now believe that a species of sea cucumber living off the British coast could become a lucrative culinary export.

Matthew Bell: Rant & Rave (09/01/11)

Rant

Doctor Zhivago, By Boris Pasternak, trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

In his introduction to this new translation of Doctor Zhivago, Richard Pevear quotes from a letter written by Boris Pasternak in English: "living, moving reality in such a rendering must have a touch of spontaneous subjectivity, even of arbitrariness , wavering, tarrying, doubting, joining and disjoining elements". Pevear uses this quote to stress his point that Doctor Zhivago is "a highly unusual book". He argues that "to embody the 'living moving reality'", it "had necessarily to be an experimental novel".

Harriet Walker: Have the courage to go Dutch

Notebook

Harriet Walker: 'Nothing brings out my alter ego quite like a 'new house party'

The house party. It's the new not-quite-going-out, so you don't have to feel guilty about anything that happens at one. "Look," you can crow to similarly smug attendees, "I'm not flinging money over a bar in a trendy nightspot! I pre-mixed my gin and ginger ale outside in the street."

Blood and Gifts, House of Games and Design for Living

Blood and Gifts, NT Lyttelton, London, House of Games, Almeda, London, and Design for Living, Old Vic, London

Around the world in 80 dishes No.21: Greece

Global kitchen

Jolly green giants: Anna Pavord's first attempt at growing greenhouse cucumbers has resulted in a bumper crop

The cucumber harvest has been sensational. Millie (my granddaughter, aged 11), took advantage of the fact that I was laid out in Plymouth hospital with a broken leg to raid our new greenhouse for a charity stall she was running with a friend. In one swoop, she gathered 30 cucumbers. They sold straight away, she said. So that's good.

The Big Chill, Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire

The relaxed vibe that pervades the Malverns charmed our man in the mosh pit

Manic Street Preachers, Hammersmith Working Men's Club, London<br/>Dir En Grey, Koko, London

This night of circularities and historical echoes was calculated to remind everyone why they loved the Manics in the first place

Wild strawberry and Pimm's jelly

Serves 4
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
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project