Arts and Entertainment Keeley Hawes (left) and Sheila Hancock in Barking in Essex at the Wyndhams Theatre

A source described the clash as a 'battle between two divas'

Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

British Comedy Awards 2013: List of nominees in full

Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc are shortlisted for Best Female TV Comic

Clockwise from left: Sarah Millican; Lee Mack; Alan Carr; David Mitchell; Graham Norton and Jack Whitehall are up for the King or Queen of Comedy Award 2013

British Comedy Awards 2013: Jack Whitehall, Alan Carr and David Mitchell shortlisted

Who should be crowned the King or Queen of British comedy?

Review: Dead Interviews: Living Writers Meet Dead Icons, Edited by Dan Crowe

Who could resist an invitation to interview a massive icon? A really great novelist, say, or a former US president? Hence the impressive cast of interviewers Dan Crowe has managed to line up to contribute to this collection: Joyce Carol Oates, David Mitchell, Ian Rankin and more. There’s a catch, however – the subjects of the interviews are all long dead (some, like Monsieur de Saint-George, have been dead for more than two centuries) – so each interviewer must supply both sides of the conversation.

John Oliver has now landed his own show with the premier US network HBO

John Oliver: From 'The Daily Show' to his own show

British presenter lands his own weekly comedy series on HBO

Robert Webb rejoined the Labour Party after reading Russell Brand's article

Russell Brand hits back at Robert Webb: 'I'm not in favour of death camps'

Russell Brand has attacked his fellow comedian's privileged Oxbridge roots

The ninth series will the last outing for the El Dude Brothers, Jeremy and Mark

Peep Show to end next year after ninth series

Cult show that made the careers of Robert Webb and David Mitchell to 'wind down' after ninth series

Shepard: Why is he not published here?

Invisible Ink: No 169 - Jim Shephard

Here's an unusual situation; an author who's certainly not dead, not unknown or out of print in his native USA, greatly admired, yet ignored and unrepresented on these shores. While UK publishers reprint the most minor Nordic crime novels, we're denied an astonishing American voice.

Clockwise from top left: the Blue Lagoon; Fimmvorduhals volcano; Reykjavik; Gullfoss waterfall

Foreigners are cool: Iceland's lesson for Britain as isolated island is voted the friendliest place on earth

The country that topped a hospitality poll could teach the UK (placed 55th) a thing or two, Jenna Gottlieb discovers

Occult mystery: Kate Miller-Heidke in ENO’s ‘Sunken Garden’ at the Barbican

Heads Up: Sunken Garden

It's a bouquet of 3D film, opera, and electronic music

Cloud Atlas novelist David Mitchell to co-translate breakthrough Japanese 'autism memoir'

The Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell and his wife have co-translated an acclaimed book, written by a Japanese child, about his experience of growing up with autism.

Hugh Grant said it was “fun” play a darker role on Cloud Atlas

Hugh Grant shows his dark side in multiple Cloud Atlas roles

Hugh Grant said last night it was "fun" to bring out a darker side for his multiple roles in the screen adaptation of Cloud Atlas, rather than the bumbling English gent he normally plays.

Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in 'Cloud Atlas'. Running time: 173 minutes

The Weekend’s Viewing: Peep Show's Pompous and Punchable deliver a tour de force of squirm

Peep Show, Sun, Channel 4 // Him & Her, Sun, BBC3 // 4Funnies: Dr Brown, Fri, Channel 4

House mates: David Mitchell (right) and Robert Webb, stars of Channel 4’s Peep Show

Hail, Croydon's kings of comedy: 'Peep Show' is back for series eight

The mismatched housemates return tonight. Hugh Montgomery looks at the rise of two sitcom losers

The Peep show returns on Sunday night

Staying in and going out: When did Sunday night become the new Friday?

Back in the mid-1990s, there was no contest as to which night ruled the comedy waves. It was Fridays on Channel 4 when the broadcaster ran various combinations of Friends, Frasier, and others.

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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links