Arts and Entertainment
 

Jack Whitehall was crowned King of Comedy at the ceremony in London

Jack of all trades - and all classes

Goodbye Tracy and Wayne, says Ruth Picardie. Today's parents have other aspirations for their kids

The accidental humorist

His name will be on the credits of Steve Coogan's new show tonight. Lucky Coogan: Geoff Posner is Britain's most successful comedy director. By Robert Hanks

TODAY'S TELEVISION : review

What, you might wonder, was the oddest thing about serving as a soldier in pre-ceasefire Northern Ireland? Attempting to keep the peace in a place you're not wanted? Spending your time guarding the construction of a police station that is costing more to build than the budgets of some regional constabularies, in an area where there is virtually no crime? Spending 24 hours at a time in a trench training a loaded gun on a community where the greatest threat to life and limb appears to be from the prices in the local Spar?

Jazz; John Surman Purcell Room, London

Surman - probably the only British jazz musician whose surname alone is capable of conjuring up the gravitas associated with the great surnames of the past, like Rollins or Coltrane (though such comparisons have become irrelevant, even unseemly) - is an entirely native talent. Looking a little like a bigger version of Bill Oddie, his rich Devonian burr immediately undercuts the sense of forbidding genius suggested by his superlative saxophone and clarinet playing, rather like that old Harry Enfield sketch where the solemnity of a mock-rockumentary about a hipper- than-thou Acid Jazz group was punctured by band member Paul Whitehouse's confession that he was just up from Hampshire for the day with the wife and kiddie.

the interview KATHY BURKE, ACTRESS AND DIRECTOR TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

WITH MOST TELEVISION STARS, THEIR SMALL-SCREEN PERSONAS ARE LARGER THAN LIFE. WITH KATHY BURKE, IT'S THE OTHER WAY ROUND

Come to see the real Worth

WITH reference to Harry Enfield's article "I won't mourn the demise of the grinning flogger" (18 June), we were surprised by the crass tones and bad taste. How Mr Enfield wrote the article with a straight face we will never know. Mr Enfield is an exception; we are yet to meet old boys with such intense and derogatory opinions. Similar sentiments to Mr Enfield's are certainly not reflected within the school today. As for the supposed "slump in popularity", we feel this unfortunate reference would not have occurred had Mr Enfield's research been more thorough. The school has 300 boarders and increasing numbers of day boys. The Worth we have experienced is very enjoyable; it has been and always will be very different from Mr Enfield's ridiculous misconceptions. We would like to invite Mr Enfield back to the school to show him the real Worth.

Not just a sitcom Charlie

He has the wit of Harry Enfield, the verve of Kenneth Branagh and twice the nerve of Ian Hislop, but to Dr Who fans, he'll always be Prince Long. Mark Wareham meets Martin Clunes

I thought I was me till you thought I was someone else

A BIZARRE thing happened to me on Tuesday. I got into a cab just near where I live, and the driver said, "Hope you don't mind me asking, but you are you, aren't you?"

Enfield wins Montreux Golden Rose

TV comedian and Indepdentent on Sunday columnist Harry Enfield has won a Golden Rose of Montreux for his BBC hit Smashie and Nicey - End of an Era. The show, which was made by Tiger Aspect Productions, also starred Paul Whitehouse, who co-wrote the script with Enfield.

Goodbyee . . . Dud bids poignant farewell to his partner Pete

Not only from Dud, but also farewell from Richard, Spike, Willie and Jo hn ...

LETTER : Spike it

IS Harry Enfield aware ("I'd rather be a pheasant than a cow, yes I would", 2 April) that a recent poll reveals that 78 per cent of the citizens of this country join Spike Milligan in his condemnation of those members of the Royal Family who participate in blood sports?

LETTER : Mega tingle

HARRY Enfield ``Just Michael and me in the radio car'' (19 February) is over-reaching in his attempts to display mastery of computer technology. The "strange tingle of excitement" he felt after he had babbled excitedly about "a sixty megabyte internal memory" was caused by a small internal voice warning him that he was going to make a fool of himself.

TV adverts get health check

Rules governing television advertising for food, slimming products and pharmaceuticals are to be tightened under guidelines issued yesterday by the Independent Television Commission, writes Rhys Williams.

The grand old man of sex: In the Seventies, his name was synonymous with uninhibited hedonism and liberated sex. Today, Alex Comfort's world is bleaker and more austere - and marred by the world's refusal to recognise his qualities as poet, philosopher, or anything except the author of The Joy of Sex

WHEN HE was a teenager, Alex Comfort blew himself up at school while making fireworks, and lost four fingers on his left hand. This accident, it has been suggested, partly explains the generous billing given the big toe in Comfort's celebrated 1972 publication, The Joy of Sex. (The Big Toe - placed between 'Bathing' and 'Bites' - is a 'magnificent erotic instrument . . . In a restaurant, in these days of tights, one can surreptitiously remove a shoe or sock, reach over and keep her in almost continuous orgasm with all four hands fully in view on the table top . . .')

TELEVISION / The Paul Whitehouse experience: He was the blond one with the big teeth who did a 'lodda work for cheriddy' - Smashie to Harry Enfield's Nicey. What was his name again? It's a question that won't be asked if Paul Whitehouse's new show is as big a hit as James Rampton predicts

Smashie and Nicey, the late-lamented spoof DJs, are one of the great comic creations of our time. If any proof of that claim were needed, you just had to read the former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis in Q magazine earlier this year: 'This Smashie and Nicey crap that they keep bringing up. Is that funny? It doesn't raise a smile with me.' Spot on.
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