Arts and Entertainment Horsing around: the BBC's lively adaptation of 'Death Comes to Pemberley'

Whatever objections purists might have were cheerfully put to one side

To the manor born: Timothy Spall, Jack Farthing, Mark Williams and Jennifer Saunders

A castle, a pig called Empress and a rather porky aristocrat

Timothy Spall goes posh in a new PG Wodehouse adaptation

Cool Runnings, The Snowman, Mr Stink, Dragon's Den, Bad Santa

Our pick of the best on the box this festive season

Last night's viewing - Jewish Mum of the Year, Channel 4; Fresh Meat, Channel 4

Hard on the heels of a rebuke from the Advertising Standards Agency for an "irresponsible" and "offensive" campaign that "reaffirmed negative stereotypes" of the Traveller community, Channel 4 continues its proud commitment to minority caricature with the barely credible Jewish Mum of the Year. Let's get the mitigating circumstances out of the way first, since it won't take long.

Actor and comedian David Walliams will be editing The Independent and sister paper i in aid of Sport Relief

David Walliams reveals suicide attempts

TV funnyman David Walliams has revealed he has tried to kill himself several times during his life-long battle with depression.

Arifa Akbar's Arts Diary: The word on the street is that Walliams is happy to book a date with his big fan

As far as the art of pairing and chairing goes, Nick Barley, the director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, seems to be very inspired this year.

Leading article: Proud to be supporting Sport Relief

Generally, Britain is a comfortable country in which to live. By and large, people have enough food to eat and water to drink. The air is clean, the water supply constant and pollutant-free. Children will receive an adequate education. Our health service will care for us when we fall sick. Crime levels are low.

On Thursday 22nd March, David Walliams will take on the role of Editor for one day, for a special Sport Relief edition of The Independent and i, to be published on Friday 23rd March

David Walliams to guest edit The Independent and i for Sport Relief

Guest contributors include John Bishop, Jimmy Carr, Rob Brydon and more…

Pointing the way: Russell Brand at the Secret Policeman’s Ball at Radio City in New York

Secret Policeman's Ball: Stand-up and be counted

Russell Brand stole the show as American and British comics vied for laughs in New York

Growing pains: Julie Walters and Gian Sammarco starred in the TV adaptation of 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾' from 1985

The Secret Diary of an Adrian Mole fan, aged 27¼

As Sue Townsend's stories are reissued for the 30th anniversary, Will Dean salutes his dysfunctional hero

Growing pains: Julie Walters and Gian Sammarco starred in the TV adaptation of 'The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾' from 1985

The Secret Diary of an Adrian Mole fan, aged 27¼

As Sue Townsend’s stories are reissued, Will Dean salutes his dysfunctional hero

Little Britain given a whole new meaning

I've spent more of my life playing music than speaking. If I ever really wanted to express an idea, emotion or even a storyline, music has always been my first choice. But having released eight albums, I was keen to find a fresh approach for my ninth so this album started as something quite different – a script.

Jamie's kitchen nightmare: his show is getting the chop

Celebrity chef switched to 'graveyard slot' as TV ratings plummet

Orrin Tucker

Second series for Lucas and Walliams show

The latest comedy show from Little Britain duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams has been recommissioned for a second series, the BBC announced today.

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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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there