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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project