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

Tim Key: A man of his words

It's been quite a year for offbeat poet and comedian Tim Key. Now the winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award is set for stardom. Alice Jones meets him

Amy Jenkins: If I watch a crime show on TV, will it make me break the law?

Compliance. It's a spooky word, like some kind of euphemism employed by the Ministry of Torture in a totalitarian regime. If a female is "compliant" you imagine her as a limp doll that might be anyone's for the taking. But compliance, apparently, is big in television. And Jimmy Mulville and Stephen Fry have been making industry headlines by lambasting broadcasters at the Edinburgh TV Festival for what they call the box-ticking culture of "compliance" in television.

Writer of 'little poems' wins festival comedy award

He riffs quirkily on which animals he could (or couldn't) fit into and the domestic conundrums of characters called Gladys and Anne – but the performance poet and stand-up Tim Key was speechless when he won the main Edinburgh festival comedy award yesterday.

David O'Doherty, Pleasance, Edinburgh<br/>Laura Solon, Assembly, Edinburgh<br/>Andrew Lawrence, Pleasance, Edinburgh<br/>Alun Cochrane, The Stand, Edinburgh<br/>Paul Sinha, The Stand, Edinburgh

Laura Solon is frighteningly talented, and Alun Cochrane had some people laughing so hard they didn't seem able to stop

Janeane Garofalo, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh<br/>Alistair McGowan, Assembly, Edinburgh<br/>Idiots of Ants, Pleasance, Edinburgh<br/>Anna & Katy, Pleasance, Edinburgh

The savviest comedian to hit Edinburgh this year is a doll-sized dynamo with a side-splitting line in jokes about sick

Editor-At-Large: Haggling in the souk is our new way to shop

Tony Blair might have got in touch with a higher being by embracing Catholicism, but even he has succumbed to that hard drug few can resist: bargain-hunting. Our former prime minister spends his time these days jetting around the world trying to kick-start peace in the Middle East, but he rearranged his schedule to be first through the door at the Armani sale in swanky Knightsbridge – they even opened an hour early so Tony could spend thousands on clothing discounted up to 50 per cent, unmolested by fellow shoppers.

Frank Skinner: 'Swearing can still be beautiful'

He's known for his racy humour, working-class background and love of football, but there's so much more to the comedian

My Life In Travel: Frank Skinner, comedian

In Tokyo, I had to lick the water off before she understood me'

The Secret Policeman&rsquo;s Ball, The Albert Hall, London

Having attended the last two outings of Amnesty International's Secret Policeman’s Ball at The Albert Hall, it strikes me as an occasion as bewildering for it’s audience as it is for the acts who have never played this grand venue before; if not more so.

Renegade, by Mark E Smith

Another encore for the rock rebel who shuns the look-back bores

France Telecom hangs 'for sale' sign over Yellow Pages

France Telecom has decided to sell its majority stake in the French equivalent of Yellow Pages to focus on its core internet and telecoms businesses that include Orange.

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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