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.

Bring Me the Head of Adam Riches, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

The best kept secret of the Fringe - though probably not for much longer - Adam Riches is classed as a character comedian but that description barely does justice to the hour of high-octane, all-round entertainment he brings to Edinburgh this year. It’s 60 minutes of brilliantly conceived chaos and I never stopped laughing once.

Veteran BBC broadcaster Robert Robinson dies

Veteran BBC broadcaster and presenter Robert Robinson has died at the age of 83 following a long period of ill health, it was reported today.

TV Critic's Choice: 08/08/11

Marriage Ref axed after one series

'The Marriage Ref' has been axed after just one series.

ITV vows to outstrip rivals' ad revenues

Despite the economic headwinds and tough comparison with last year's Football World Cup, ITV lifted advertising revenues in the first half, with the broadcaster adding it would outperform rivals during the rest of the year.

ITV reports profits up 45% to £240 million

ITV boss Adam Crozier reported improved half-year profits today as he signalled an end to the lean years for the company's production arm.

Business Diary: TV quiz triumph for FSA chairman

Eagle-eyed viewers would have spotted Lord Turner – chairman of the Financial Services Authority – in the audience for Monday night's University Challenge on BBC2. Was he prepping for his next grilling opposite Paxo on Newsnight? No. Simply cheering on his 21-year-old daughter Eleanor, who calmly captained the winning University of Newcastle team in a comfortable victory over Belfast's Queen's University. Eleanor demonstrated good business knowledge, correctly identifying the surname linking Tesco's and Ben & Jerry's as Cohen.

Sam Simmons: Fail, Soho Theatre, London

It's a tricky task that the Australian comedian Sam Simmons has set himself – showing the lighter side of suicide. He's prepared for failure, of course, that's what brought him to the point of despair in the first place.

Laurie Penny: Jobless young people: good for a laugh, eh

Roll up for the youth unemployment show! If being one of almost a million young people out of work weren't humiliating enough, the BBC has now commissioned a programme pitting jobless graduates and school-leavers against one another while viewers watch and snicker. According to the careers website Graduate Fog, Love Productions is advertising for contestants on the show, which will see employers hiring or rejecting young hopefuls live on air.

Diary: In Nadine Dorries, Britain has found its answer to Sarah Palin

If ever Mid-Bedfordshire Conservatives consider deselecting Nadine Dorries, my advice is this: watch yourselves, blue rinses. The diarist's life is hard enough without losing the geyser of homespun common sense that keeps on gushing. Responses to the publicityphobe's masterstroke about teaching abstinence to 13-year-olds, but only girls, have been mixed – ranging from opponents' "She's raving bonkers" to "Well, yes, a bit doolally, bless her, but she means well," from fervent supporters. Yet easy as it is to dismiss the MP who defended expenses charges by initially claiming that 70 per cent of her blog is fiction, she is entirely consistent in advocating bespoke treatment for her gender. She passionately opposes women-only shortlists, for example, despite reportedly benefiting from Central Office pressure to pick a woman herself. A Mid-Beds MP she became and amid beds not entirely of the marital persuasion she has since been. Nadine insists that abstinence ruled her relationship with her new gentleman caller until he left his wife. Whether this is 70 per cent fiction – whether she went most of the way (upstairs outsidies, non-penetrative intimacy down below, etc) but stopped short – only she can tell us. And one day, when doing pre-show publicity for I'm A Celebrity, no doubt she will. But let no one try to get her out of here yet. We diarists need the Sarah Palin wannabe – and isn't Bristol's mom the go-to girl for teaching young women to say no? – almost as much as she needs us.

Will America learn to understand Cheryl Cole?

Singer sent to voice coach after landing role on US 'X Factor'

Not made in England: The lost art of manufacturing

Engineering is a triumph of the human spirit. So what happens when a nation loses the ability to manufacture the products it consumes? Cultural illiteracy, argues Stephen Bayley

'You're fired,' entrepreneurs tell Lord Sugar

The boardroom equivalent of feeding Christians to the lions, 'The Apprentice', returns next week as a chorus of business figures say it is time to show the programme the door. Here, the <i>IoS</i> canvasses the views of some of the UK's best business brains

'Mastermind' faces tough questions over lack of ethnic diversity

A quick-fire inquisition in the black leather Mastermind chair has long been regarded as the ultimate test of any trivia buff's knowledge and nerve.

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John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'