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

His comedy partner is cooler, more intelligent and better looking. But teenagers of taste love him anyway

the interview : RICHARD HERRING TALKS TO ADRIAN TURPIN

ARTS : LATER WITH ELVIS

Tonight, BBC2 is celebrating Elvis Costello's 20 years in the music business. Meanwhile, the songwriter best known for his caustic lyrics is considering making an album without words. Well, you might say, how typical

Statto, the king of soccer nerds

PROFILE: Angus Loughran: The statistics freak from 'Fantasy Football' is not quite the anorak he portrays, but it's a close call, says Steve Boggan

Music: Matthews / Nyman Barbican Centre / RFH, London

Not content with being the new rock 'n' roll, football is fast becoming the new classical music, too. Last Thursday, for instance, two of London's leading concert halls featured more football than you could shake a Wagon Wheel at. In the past, football grounds have had to put up with appearances by Luciano Pavarotti and Nigel Kennedy; now Vinny Jones and Warren Barton are returning the compliment.

We asked for your opinions on middle-class media lads

Serena Mackesy's critical analysis of media lads was a bit harsh in some quarters, especially concerning the changing style of comedy and the approach to football as a spectator sport.

Do we need; Media lads?

Serena Mackesy hears the Mockney accents, sees the school swot in hiding and demands to know...

Satirist required: only ex-playground bullies need apply today requires the wit of a playground bully How did we come to congratulate these smug bullies?

One of the features of our post-industrial, post-imperial, post- religious and post-civic society is the way that previously marginal institutions and people - the media, sport, comedians - have now moved to the centre of it and command our interest for lack of anything more important. Last week all three were nicely combined in the case of Jason Lee, the Nottingham Forest footballer who was given a free transfer because, or so his manager implied, he had became such a figure of fun that his form had been ruined. Lee, in case anyone has missed this story, is a black forward with a spectacular pile of dreadlocks and a habit (or what television leads us to believe is a habit) of failing to control the ball in front of open goals. Frank Skinner and David Baddiel on the BBC's Fantasy Football League turned him into a running joke, replaying film of his clumsiness and imitating him in sketches with his hair-do replaced by a pineapple. The pineapple joke spread. The Sun added a few bananas. Crowds jeered him. Lee became ridiculous and, according to his manager, consequently depressed and lacking in confidence.

Nostalgia 0, showbiz 1

Phil Shaw on how those expecting a traditional draw will be shocked tonight; The new format sounds like a cross between National Lottery Live and Fantasy Football League

Comedy: Frank Skinner London Palladium

`Skinner's knack is to make you forget about the other 1,999 people and make you think you're his best mate'

The interview JENNY ECLAIR, COMEDIAN TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

Failed popstar, one-time punk poet and now, finallly, a famous comedian. But even star billing and a Perrier Award are no insurance against `dying on your arse'

Dear Jenny Eclair

Well done to the first woman to win the Perrier comedy award. But a word of advice: do beware of television commissioning editors bearing gifts

metropolitan life; pub life; Ooh ah, get out of my bar

FOOTBALL and the pub always went together. In the days when both were bloke-exclusive activities, they were strictly sequential. A couple of pints in the Moon on the Green, then up to Loftus Road to watch QPR, and back to the Moon for a post-mortem before the bus home. Occasionally you got to the pub late and it was a straight choice, the second drink or the first 10 minutes of the game. Have one, miss the other.

the interview FRANK SKINNER, COMEDIAN TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

FIRST HE BORROWED HIS STAGE NAME FROM A MAN IN A PUB. THEN HE MOVED IN WITH DAVID BADDIEL. NOW HE'S GOT HIS OWN TV SHOW. BUT WHAT WILL BBC 1 MAKE OF `THE BILLY GRAHAM OF ANAL SEX'?; 4 The twinkle of mischief can have a dark edge when the constraints of broadcasting are lifted 4

COMEDY / Top of the bill (less 15%)

The lucrative stand-up business is sewn up by two agencies. James Rampt on profiles the Pepsi and Coke of live comedy

COMEDY / Lee's still sweet, but Skinner's sounding sour

A YEAR is a long time in comedy, and if you didn't know that Lee Evans has been busy making a series of short comedy- dramas for Channel 4 and co- starring in a Disney film with Jerry Lewis (a cynical ploy to make him big in France), it would be tempting to think he had gone underground. This is the Perrier Award-winner's first proper tour, but if he was worried that everyone might have forgotten him, the warmth of the reception he gets from a packed Lewisham Theatre should have put his mind at rest.
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