Arts and Entertainment

The form has changed but the impulses remain the same. The quickening of the heart can lie in an inbox too

Television comment: Fewer gags, but more laughs

At the end of last month, at the Edinburgh TV Festival, the comedy writers Marks and Gran (Birds of a Feather and many other hits) sought to explain why - among other things - British TV comedy is at a low ebb, and why American comedy is so often regarded as being better.

Comedy - it's a serious business; CINEMA

As Jacques Tati's `Jour de Fete' is re-released, David Thomson recalls the movies that have made him laugh the most

Theatre: Meet Europe's movers and shakers

Stunde Null QEH, SBC, London

CINEMA : An icon tested to the point of deconstruction

If you were watching the trailer with half your mind on something else, it would be easy to mistake Clint Eastwood's Absolute Power (15) for an uninteresting film. There's that title for a start. It has a nasty case of the John Grishams: seeming very macho and awe- inspiring (Men jousting! Testosterone overload imminent!) but actually saying something smaller and less meaningful than a stoat's capacity for remorse. Then there's the story.

Rugby Union: Wood primed for heavy duty forward conflict

Chris Hewett meets the Lions hooker relishing rugby union's front- row hell in South Africa

Auntie flexes her muscles in television's hard sell

Television executives from all over the world have been flocking to Brighton this week to snap up the best of the BBC's output and help Auntie supplement her licence fee income.

At last: a critic who really makes a mark; TELEVISION

"Thats all very well," said my partner last Sunday, putting aside my efforts at TV criticism with an air of slight exasperation, "but what readers want to know is whether a programme is any good or not." "That,"

TVEYE With James Rampton

COMEDY LESSONS FROM AN OLD MASTER

Marinated in gin...

also showing...; Trees Lounge Steve Buscemi (15) Conspirators of Pleasure Jan Svankmajer (nc) In Love and War Richard Attenborough (12) She's the One Edward Burns (15) Fierce Creatures Robert Young / Fred Schepisi (PG) Powder Victor Salva (12) Harriet the Spy Bronwen Hughes (PG)

QUEEN OF PARTS: PROFILE

Actress PRUNELLA SCALES talks with James Rampton

PARIS DAYS ; French TV zapped by the trash barons

I can date precisely the moment I decided Paris was a hardship post. It was a Saturday at around 5.30pm (or 4.30pm in Britain). I was listening to the BBC World Service coverage of the third round of the FA Cup. Fifteen minutes before the end of the commentary game, and the round-up of final scores, a smug, schoolmistressy voice, announced (with a tone of sadistic glee): "We are now going over to the world news in German..." Panic.

Serial killers

The creators of 'Shooting Stars' and 'Father Ted' may feel it is time to move on - but viewers may think otherwise. Untimely deaths or getting out while the going's good? By Thomas Sutcliffe

Women trouble

MUSICAL Nine Donmar Warehouse, London

No more Fawlty hotels

Tourists should be spared the trauma of staying in Basil Fawlty- style hotels when they visit Britain by being offered a national star-rating system for holiday accommodation, a cross-party Commons select committee said.

Profile: Ben Elton: Older, wiser quieter?

Writer and comic BEN ELTON talks with James Rampton
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot