Frankie Boyle

Mark Watson: Do I Know You? Hammersmith Apollo, London

On his journey from cult Edinburgh Fringe favourite to big venue comic, Mark Watson has notched up the kinds of TV appearances a graduating stand up might be expected to make, including Mock the Week and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, but it's clear tonight that performing to his largest live audience yet is the feather in his cap that is tickling him the most.

Russell Howard: Laughing all the way to the bank

If you’re young, chances are you’ll love Russell Howard, with his topical BBC show garnering a million hits on iPlayer. Ian Burrell meets the small-town boy about to embark on a money-spinning tour

Heard the one about Channel 4?

It was the home of anarchic humour in the Eighties and now it wants to define comedy for a new generation. Ian Burrell discovers why the broadcaster is playing it for laughs

Frankie Boyle: I Would Happily Punch Every One of You in the Face, New

Who better, I thought, to shake us out of credit-crunch fatigue and the cuts commotion than the scything Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle? It's a last act of "kindness" before his early retirement from live performance, announced two years ago and which finally begins at the end of this tour.

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Our culture critics’ picks for 2010

From Picasso’s politics to ‘The Prisoner’ and Beethoven to Big Boi, our experts choose their cultural highlights for the next 12 months

Best showbiz books for Christmas

During the last decade, show-business autobiographies have monopolised the Christmas bestseller lists, and in December it's hard to see beyond the LightEnt memoirs that clutter up booksellers' front desks. Most are pap of course, but there are usually few gems amid the dross, and this year's haul includes several remarkably good books by TV entertainers. The pick of this bunch is My Shit Life So Far by Frankie Boyle (HarperCollins, £18.99). As you might expect from such a self-deprecating title, Boyle is supremely disparaging about virtually everything, from his Spartan Scottish upbringing to his comedy career. His main claim to fame is as a panellist on Mock The Week, a pretty flimsy premise for a full-length autobiography and his healthy contempt for television ("a shiny bauble used to distract morons while they're having their pockets picked") makes this a refreshing antidote to the usual feelgood books by TV stars.