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

Restaurants: We were much amused

Victoriana in Birmingham and Frank Skinner, too. It is all a fantasy for Tracey MacLeod

Comedy: Surfing the comedy waves

His gift for ad-libbing has made stand-up Phil Kay the toast of Eddie Izzard, Bob Mortimer and his other comedy peers. Tonight, he is let loose for a benefit at the Hackney Empire

Advertisers stir up a war with BBC

A television ratings war is set to break out after powerful advertisers urged the ITV network to measure itself only against the BBC. Paul McCann, Media Correspondent, explains the background to the battle for our control buttons.

Skinner's power play

From a club full of anglers to a power station full of punters, Frank Skinner has come a long way in a decade. The secret of his success? Being funny about the great universals of life - football and sex

Television: ITV poaches Beeb talent

ITV's new bosses have raided the BBC's ideas cupboard for its 1998 programming season. New programming chief David Liddiment has poached comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel (pictured) to present a liver version of Fantasy Football League during next year's World Cup finals.

Comedy: Still feeling fizzy? Perrier's past winners

With a forthcoming Radio 4 series which will doubtless magically transfer to BBC2, the League of Gentlemen are in no danger of suddenly disappearing from public view. That has not always been the case with Perrier Award winners, however.

Comedy review: Frank: not a women's magazine

Frank Skinner Apollo, Oxford

Revelations; If I couldn't make 'em laugh it was curtains

The time: Summer 1987 The place: Birmingham The man: Frank Skinner, comedian

COMEDY: Reviews

Frank Skinner, Jersey Fort Regent (01534 500227), 3 Sept; Guildford Spectrum (01483 443322), 4 Sept; Southend Cliffs Pavillion (01702 351135) 5 & 6 Sept. Tour hotline on 0891 887766.

Funny business on the classroom circuit

I was up in London the other day, trying to find out which was the first train I could decently come home again on, when who should I bump into in the purlieus of Soho but my old friend Adrian Wardour-Street, doyen of British PR.

Comedy: We all like you, Jo. So why don't you?

In the 16th century, the prophet Nostradamus wrote: "The present time, together with the past, shall be judged by a great jovialist."

Comedy: Frank's friend left all on his testosterone

In the izzaland over the road from the St Albans Arena, a shy- looking father and his football-shirted son share a difficult meal. There is something touching about their awkwardness. If they could read their futures in the mozzarella, the long-term forecast might be anything, but the short-term would have a degree of reassurance about it. It would say, "You are going to see David Baddiel: a man who has no difficulty expressing his innermost feelings, even though sometimes it might be better if he did".

And the world laughs with you

the week on television

Celebs dry up as telly chat goes over the top

More channels mean more talk about less, writes Vanessa Thorpe
Voices
London Zoo (Getty)
charity appeal
News
Chris Parrott: I felt a bit lost and quite alone
i100
News
A scene from 'Team America: World Police' featuring a puppet depicting Kim Jong-Il
newsTexas cinema to show Team America instead of The Interview
Arts and Entertainment
Hollywood actor Denzel Washington has won two Oscars in his career
film
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum