Frank Skinner

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.

The Diary: BFI; Emily Woof; Camden Arts Centre; anti-BNP single

Eddie Berg, the artistic director of the BFI, who has been inviting in actors to talk about their 'Screen Epiphanies' – films which made an impact on them at a formative stage in their lives – picked out his own for this column. "It would be Kaneto Shindo's 'Onibaba' which I first saw when I was in my early twenties at a film society in Liverpool. The plot focuses on a pair of women in feudal Japan who live in the marshlands and eke out a meagre existence by murdering passing soldiers and selling their clothes and armour. It's beautifully photographed and edited, has an extraordinary musical score and the film is ripe with potent symbolism about sexual desire and death." The film producer Stephen Woolley will talk on 6 April about why he loves 'Zulu', at a screening for members, while French director Agnes Varda has chosen Fellini's 'Amarcord' and the actor David Morrissey selected Ken Loach's 'Kes'. John Hurt has already picked 'Jules et Jim', shown to members while Frank Skinner picked 'Lenny'.

Fringe benefits: How winning the top comedy prize at Edinburgh can

You couldn't have scripted better inaugural winners than the Cambridge Footlights, who numbered Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Emma Thompson, for whom it's not so much a case of "where are they now?" as "where haven't they been?" Fellow members included Paul Shearer, who is best known for his work on The Fast Show, and the late Penny Dwyer, who chose a career in metallurgy over one in entertainment and worked on the construction of the Channel Tunnel.