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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn