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.

Shane Richie will present a new Saturday night game show called 'Reflex'

EastEnder Shane Richie to present Saturday night game show 'Reflex' on BBC1

EastEnders star Shane Richie has landed a new Saturday night BBC1 game show testing contestants' reaction times and using high-tech slow-motion filming.

national puppetry archive

Violet Philpott: Puppeteer who brought Zippy to life in 'Rainbow'

Zippy, the yellowish-brown glove puppet who was loud and sought to be the centre of attention in Rainbow, gained a cult status that went beyond the pre-school children's programme's 25-year history.

Claire from Steps during the Shocking Good Fun task on 'Celebrity Big Brother'

Going Dutch: Are you ready for new cheese and sleaze reality TV from the Netherlands?

From phone-in votes to choose foster parents to game shows where vital organs are the prize, the latest reality shows from the country that gave us Big Brother, pictured, are more extreme than ever

Anger Management, starring Charlie Sheen, is being renewed for 100 episodes

Television: Strap in for 100 new episodes of Charlie Sheen

For even the greatest comedies, getting a new series renewed (ie funded for a new series) can be hard work. When Seinfeld struggled in its first few seasons, it was almost cancelled until it moved slots. Even mega hits like Modern Family only tend to be renewed one season in advance due to the huge costs of making a 24-episode series.

You won't be Missing Julie; and heckling Simon Amstell might mind

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Darren Barker stops Kerry Hope on Saturday 8 December. It was one of 58 fights that took place in Britain that night

Bunce on Boxing: Record 58 fights in one night reveals a booming business

On Saturday 8 December a new record was set for professional boxing in Britain when 58 fights took place on one night. The previous highest record was set on a cold Monday night on February 4 1952 at a time of great upheaval and hardship. I have no idea how many of the fighters on that night 60 years ago had picked up the gloves during their national service but I would imagine the figure is high.

Kenneth Kendall: Much-loved newsreader who became the first to be seen on screen

When, on 4 September 1955, Kenneth Kendall became the first newscaster to appear on a British television screen in the flesh, it was the culmination of years of debate at the BBC – at first over whether it was right to broadcast news on television at all, and then whether images of any kind might distort the message.

The News Matrix: Monday 3 December 2012

Pensioners give more to charity

Arts Council to axe 100 jobs

More than 100 staff are to be axed from Arts Council England (ACE) as part of budget cuts.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Referee Andre Marriner needs to ensure 'everything is in control' says Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has seen plenty of “firecracker” Merseyside derbies over the years - and wants a strong performance from the referee in Sunday's at Goodison Park.

Clare Balding to host Saturday night TV show

Clare Balding is to be the host of a new Saturday night TV show BBC1 entertainment show to find the country's sharpest mind.

Tokyo Jungle – Review

A unique experience in the pantheon of the PS3.
David Cameron was welcomed on to the Late Show by host David Letterman to the tune of the house band playing Rule Britannia and dry ice pumping into the studio to replicate a London fog

Cameron can’t do a Boris – and shouldn’t try

US talk shows are a test even for politicians with real charisma - and a British Prime Minister has no need to recast himself as a celebrity

Milking the laughs: Brendan O'Carroll with his Bafta, and as his alter ego Mrs Brown

Is Saturday TV a bit of a drag?

The foul-mouthed, dysfunctional Mrs Brown is hoping to change all that with her new BBC celebrity quiz show

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there