Arts and Entertainment Paul O’Grady, best known for his drag queen comedic alter ego, Lily Savage, has strong views on benefit reform

Viewers complained the comedian's strong opinions were not challenged

National art collection goes online

Around 200,000 oil paintings, representing the entire catalogue of the national collection, are to be made available online.

Cultural Life: Frank Skinner, comedian

Comedy: I liked Roisin Conaty at the Soho Theatre. She won Best Comedy Newcomer at Edinburgh. She was her own support act, so supporting a character she played who was nothing like her real self.

Letter from the editor: A model of impartiality

When I wrote, from my own jaundiced viewpoint, that Manchester had a greater claim to beEngland’s second city than Birmingham, I was braced to expect a torrent of missives from angry Brummies.

Happy birthday, Assembly Rooms! 30 years of Fringe magic

Edinburgh's shabby-chic civic chambers became the spiritual home to the best and brightest comic talents. Carol Sarler can't stay away

RBS hit by FSA inquiry into Coutts

Coutts, the Queen's bank, is under investigation from the financial market watchdog over a fund it sold to customers including TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, it emerged yesterday.

Gauthier Soho, 1 Romilly Street, London W1 (020-7494 3111)

The long, boozy lunch may no longer be a part of media culture, but you'd never know it from all the new restaurants opening in Soho. Just when it seemed that chain cafés and bars would choke the life out of London's creative heartland, the place has been revived by an infusion of exciting, independently-owned new openings.

'Exile on Main Street' becomes Stones' first No 1 album in 16 years

The Rolling Stones were celebrating their first album number one in 16 years last night, as a re-released Exile on Main Street hit the top spot.

Hit & Run: Saviours of Friday TV?

Perhaps it's the beard wot done it. Adrian Chiles's controversial face fur arguably doesn't cut it on Friday nights when, it was confirmed this week, Chris Evans (pictured, top), will occupy The One Show sofa alongside the sufficiently glamorous Christine Bleakley. BBC bosses expect Evans, the clean-cut (well, clean-shaven) new star of mainstream BBC programming, to sprinkle the 7pm magazine show with a bit of stardust in a new-look end-of-week edition. Expect sharper suits and more purple – a house band, perhaps.

Jew or Pakistani? The bullies don't care

A background of ethnic ambiguity inspired David Baddiel's new film, <i>The Infidel</i>

Frank Skinner to front new BBC2 show

Frank Skinner has signed up to front his first BBC2 series since Fantasy Football in the 1990s.

Baddiel courts controversy with film about 'Muslim Jew'

Comedian says his cinema debut will tackle material until now regarded as off-limits
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?