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
Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

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

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
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
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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