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.

Big laughs: Why do we turn to stadium comedy whenever the economy becomes a sick joke?

Russell Brand and Al Murray are packing out London's 15,000-seat O2 Arena

<a href="http://julianhall.livejournal.com/3496.html">Julian Hall: Zadie on comedy post-mortems</a>

It is customary at this time of year to suggest stocking fillers - or should I say sack-fillers given that the most prized gifts from the comedy world will be the plethora of stand up DVDs currently available. Frankie Boyle, Michael McIntyre and Russell Howard spring to mind as good buys.

<a href="http://julianhall.livejournal.com/2341.html">Julian Hall: Loony bins and 'rubbish' jokes</a>

It goes without saying that someday you will be offended by a joke. You might have been one of those 30,000 recruits to the Brand/Ross complaints bandwagon, you might well have cringed when Billy Connolly made his infamous Ken Bigley joke a few years ago or you might hide behind the sofa when Frankie Boyle is in full swing with Madeleine McCann jokes to the right of him, paedophile jokes to the left of him.

Russell Howard, Wembley Arena, London

"If I pull back this curtain you can see the rest of the venue. It's massive, and at the end of it there's a big picture of Lee Evans." So went Russell Howard's self-deprecating take on a concertinaed Wembley Arena and previous comics who filled the full version. Nevertheless, the gig rounds off a sold-out 70-date tour that has included a number of nights like this where Howard's audience has topped 3,500.

Stephen Glover: A new battle between generations threatens to undermine the BBC&rsquo;s values

Last week’s row concerning Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand could be described as a culture war between those who respect traditional standards of decency, and those who don’t. It could be more precisely represented as a culture war in which the over 45s and the under 30s are pitted against one another.

You write the reviews: Benefit for Macmillan Nurses and Multiple Sclerosis Society, Comedy Store, London

There was a 10 per cent drop in ticket sales at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival box office, possibly due to a lack of public interest or thriftiness as recession looms. But this gig at central London's world-famous Comedy Store was sold out.

You Write The Reviews: Frankie Boyle, T5 Club, Derby

Regular viewers of Channel 4's Mock the Week tap into a rich vein of humour from some of the sharpest knives in the comedy drawer, including the presenter, Dara O'Briain, Andy Parsons and the young pretender Russell Howard. But one of the keenest blades is Frankie Boyle, the caustic one with the spectacles. So it was with high hopes that I went to see the scathing Scotsman on the Midlands leg of his first national tour.

Last Night's TV: The ice man cometh and melts the heart

Polar Bear Week With Nigel Marven, Five; Live At The Apollo, BBC1

Edinburgh Festival: So who are the jokers in the pack?

Stand up and be counted: Mark Wareham checks out the talent at this year's comedy contests
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 15 May 2015
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue