Arts and Entertainment On the cutting edge: Johnny Vegas, from the Face of Satire exhibition at the BFI

On 26 February, Spitting Image will celebrate its 30 birthday. BBC Four will mark the occasion with a special episode of Arena which promises to tell the “vexed and frequently hilarious story” of the sketch show which ran for 21 series between 1984 and 1996 and marked a high point in British satire.

Murdoch mysteries: The great phone-hacking quiz

Fingers on the buzzer! Get ready to test your knowledge of the scandal spreading around the world. Asking the questions is Matthew Bell (answers at bottom of page)

Minor British Institutions: The rogue

The British have always been susceptible to a rogue, factual, fictional or a bit of both, from Robin Hood to Falstaff to handsome highwaymen to Arthur Daley and Derek Trotter. It's the attraction of opposites, of the mischievous to an essentially staid nation.

Marc Blake: Live comedy is priceless, and that's why it costs a fortune

It is the sense of communality that gives the best humour its therapeutic power

Dom Joly: I wasn't prepared for audience participation

I'm so new to this live performance business that I'm learning as I go. Last week, I faced my first heckles, which were actually quite fun, but there is a limit to how much you can let someone try to take over a show. I'm quite happy to wade in and take someone on, and am certainly capable of holding my own. The problem is that some people just enjoy the attention, even if they are being verbally mutilated – they just end up shouting anything to keep the spotlight on themselves. I wasn't sure of the form here. Was I supposed to just carry on? Did I have to keep taking them on until they lay on the floor weeping and conceding defeat? Could I simply ask them to leave, or would that be admitting failure?

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: No democracy should declare free speech an absolute right

Should those people who set out to provoke unrest and anger – such as those who burn the Koran – be allowed to do so with impunity?

Matthew Norman: There are heroes of comedy... and there's Frankie Boyle

It takes a bespoke brand of mental infirmity to confuse personal courage in advancing the right to cause offence with a penchant for bullying the most vulnerable

Complaint upheld over 'sick' Channel 4 joke

Katie Price has attacked the media regulator Ofcom for failing to demand that Channel 4 broadcast an apology for remarks made by the Glaswegian comedian Frankie Boyle about her disabled son, Harvey.

C4 rapped over Frankie Boyle jokes

Channel 4 breached broadcasting guidelines with jokes about Katie Price's son Harvey on its Frankie Boyle comedy show, the media regulator has ruled.

Rebecca Adlington: 'I'm at one in the pool. I dive in, it's a different world'

The Brian Viner Interview: Two golds in Beijing made Rebecca Adlington Britain's finest swimmer in 100 years and a poster girl for her sport – even if outside her natural element self-doubt can surface

Limmy: New king of angry comedy

There are lots of angry young men out there who are fed up with being ignored by terrestrial television. They don't want celebrity, stupidity or faux bonhomie; they don't want phone-ins and nostalgia; they want honesty. Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights should have delivered, but it failed. It was unfunny and smacked of him being given a chance and not knowing what to do with it.

Julie Burchill: We still love a joke, it's just that the real funnymen left the building long ago

The ignorant bigotry of Bernard Manning has been replaced by the cowardly, preening, calculated bullying of comics as different as Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle

Charles Nevin: Lie back and think of Britain

Start the week...

Sarah Sands: Exit Andy Gray and Richard Keys. Enter the Men's Defence League?

Studio supremos are exposed as a pair of plonkers, but will there be male reaction?

Robert Hanks: We've tired of relentless cynicism

Miranda's success reflects a certain public weariness with the comedy of outrage
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before