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

Frank Skinner: Frank and fearless

Frank Skinner's new sitcom is full of gags, as you'd expect from the king of earthy humour. But he has a darker edge too, he tells Gerard Gilbert

Benn vs Davis: politics meets the music hall

Public Services Debate, Royal Festival Hall, London

Wit loses its working-class heart

The repertoire included "You only sing when you're fishing!" and an obscene numberinvolving Captain Birdseye

Perrier winner signs with Sky

SKY TELEVISION has paid pounds 3m to sign the Perrier Award winning comedian Al Murray.

Behind the scenes of British comedy, two hard men fix the funny money

AVALON, THE comedy company at the centre of the storm when Frank Skinner fell out with the BBC this week, admitted yesterday that it is "ruthless and will stop at nothing" in pursuing its clients' best interests.

Skinner makes a sky-high demand so BBC walks out

THE BBC has walked away from contract negotiations with the comedy star Frank Skinner because of his "ridiculous" demands for money, it said yesterday.

Now Baddiel joins queue of talent leaving the BBC

SKY ADDED David Baddiel to its collection of BBC deserters yesterday, paying pounds 5.5m for a new sitcom written by, and starring, the comedian.

Profile, Frank Skinner: A bloke for all seasons

Something dark lurks behind the loutish charm of the lad who is now at the centre of a multi-million TV bidding war

Banned pub landlord in last chance saloon

THIS YEAR'S race to win the Perrier Comedy Award entered its final stage yesterday when five acts were named in a shortlist. The winner will be declared on Saturday.

A play for three characters, a cast of thousands

Soon after Yasmina Reza's play Art opened in Paris in 1994, the French playwright received a telephone call from a woman she had never met. "I am in Paris," said the voice. "I am the wife of Sean Connery and I want to meet you immediately." Micheline Connery had seen the play, loved it, and told Reza when they met at the Paris Ritz that she wanted to buy the film rights. To Mrs Connery's surprise, Reza was not interested. Her dream was to put the play on in London.

Sport on TV: Age of nostalgia in close-up and super slo-mo

HOW MANY great sporting moments have you witnessed in the flesh? Not many. How many have you seen on the telly? Every single one, I bet. Most people's recollections of such occasions are framed by the TV screen. It's nostalgia in close-up and super slo-mo, embellished with opera scores, indy bands and techno beats.

Comedy: Gig Of The Week - Frank Skinner

Frank Skinner Tue

Fashion: Is it worth it? Return to sender

Fancy making a few bob? Write to someone you think will be the next Elvis, wait for a reply, then flog it
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Career Services

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam