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.

Craig Johnston

Sporting Heroes: Practice made perfect sense for Craig Johnston

When managing Middlesbrough in 1975, Jack Charlton proclaimed one of the club’s youngsters “the worst player he’d ever seen”. That player was a 15-year-old Australian called Craig Johnston.

Penny Mordaunt MP speaks at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, 2013

Tory MP Penny Mordaunt under fire after signing up to reality TV show Splash!

The MP for Portsmouth said she would donate her participation fee to charity

Peep Show duo Mitchell and Webb

Peep Show co-writer Sam Bain to publish 'darkly comic novel'

Alice Jones' Arts Diary: The novel takes the form of a series of letters from an obsessed fan to a TV game show hostess

The News Matrix: Wednesday 01 January 2014

Conservative halve Labour’s poll lead

David Coleman has died aged 87

David Coleman: Former BBC commentator dies aged 87

Coleman covered the Olympics among others for the BBC for nearly 50 years with his final swansong coming at the 2000 Sydney Games

Grace Dent on TV: Imagine – Who’s Afraid of Machiavelli?

Mr Memory, who was brought on Monday’s Newsnight to memorise the title sequence and couldn’t even remember that Jeremy bloke with the beard’s name. Gosh I love telly. 

Suited and booted: Dermot O'Leary will fill in for Philip Schofield on 'This Morning' in the New Year

Dermot O'Leary to present ITV's This Morning

The TV host will fill in for Philip Schofield on the daytime show in January

We are all dangerously in thrall to the mirage of that perfect life which Nigella Lawson seemed to embody

Too many people think others have idyllic lifestyles, bodies, relationships, sex

iQuiz students have all the answers: Brightest book place in final

If there's one thing students enjoy more than a few quiet pints, it's flexing their intellectual muscles at the same time.

I'm a Celebrity 2013: TOWIE reality TV star Joey Essex

I'm a Celebrity 2013: Joey Essex and Matthew Wright to face first bush tucker trial

The two celebrities will be challenged to eat pig's brain

Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence star in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Hunger Games Catching Fire review: 'Jennifer Lawrence gives another full-blooded performance'

The second instalment is darker and faster, but ultimately fails to satisfy

Manchester United v Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny wants to end 'perfect week' with victory at Old Trafford after Dortmund success

The 1-0 victory in Germany comes off the back of a win against Liverpool and success on Sunday would send out a serious title warning

Jeremy Paxman has taken issue with newsreaders appearing on Strictly Come Dancing

Jeremy Paxman: Newsreaders on Strictly Come Dancing need their heads examined

The Newsnight host has been approached twice to appear on the show

Comedy review: Joe Lycett: If Joe Lycett Then You Should Have Put A Ring On It

Last year a frivolous, flawed, but loveable debut hour show, Some Lycett Hot, secured 24-year-old Joe Lycett a nomination for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Lycett's follow up show again brings the big puns out, but suffers from its unashamedly effete approach.

The Weekend’s Viewing: Atlantis is family fun with something for everyone

Atlantis, Sat, BBC1 // The Ginge, the Geordie  and the Geek, Sun, BBC2

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Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own