Arts and Entertainment

With stand-up dominated by the one-comic-and-a mic-form of observational humour, it's little wonder that some comedians are seeking more alternative modes of expression to set themselves apart. The Boy with Tape On His Face distinguishes himself with a joyously retro presentation of silent, performance-led humour, while the bestowal of the Edinburgh Comedy Award on Phil Burgers last year, for his mute, sexualised and playfully scary bouffon Dr Brown, echoed and endorsed the stand-up circuit's burgeoning interest in clowning.

Burton film 'Frankenweenie' to open London film festival

Director Tim Burton's new animated 3D film Frankenweenie is to open the 56th BFI London Film Festival, it has been announced.

Dickens tops chart as classic tales remain a hit with parents

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens' 1843 classic in which the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge discovers the generous Christmas spirit, is the book parents most want to pass on to their children, according to a new poll.

Takings for British films top £1bn for first time

The public flocked to see British films last year as UK box-office takings passed £1bn for the first time. The British Film Institute, publishing its 10th annual Statistical Yearbook yesterday, hailed 2011 as a year in which "British film thrived".

Death or glory: Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) in ‘Avengers Assemble’

The Avengers film takes $1 billion worldwide in first 19 days

The Avengers movie has topped the American box office for the second week in a row, taking $1 billion in its first 19 days.

Charles Edwards as King George VI and Emma Fielding as Queen Elizabeth in the stage version of The King's Speech

King's Speech film killed us off, say stars of stuttering West End show

Acclaimed production to close less than eight weeks into its run

The Gruffalo's Child (U)

"Aha! Oho! Marks in the snow! Whose are these claw marks? Where do they go?"

British films prove box office hits

The success of The King's Speech and The Inbetweeners has helped independent British films to a greater share of box office receipts than ever before.

Archie Bland: Let's make the Oscars a ceremony you can sit through

I've always viewed the Oscars roughly the way I view Formula One: I'm quite interested in knowing the results, but the process by which they're produced is basically unwatchable. Over here, where things are still amateur enough that something is liable to go wrong – see Freddie Starr's recent inscrutable performance at the Comedy Awards – they're still reasonably entertaining.

Just like a scene from the movies . . .

Blockbuster movies part-filmed in the UK are expected to boost "location vacation" tourism in 2012. Castle Combe, in Wiltshire, prominent in Steven Spielberg's War Horse, and Layer Marney Tower near Colchester, used in The Woman in Black, are two locations hoping for a boom in visitors.

Royal recognition for 'Queen Mother' Helena

New Year Honours: Entertainment

Bicentenary of Dickens's birth sparks off a battle of the bonnets

Such is the frenzy of filming activity surrounding the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens that two of Hollywood's best-known actresses, Helena Bonham Carter and Gillian Anderson, find themselves in a battle of the bonnets as they both prepare to play the role of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.

DVD: The King's Speech, For retail & rental (Momentum)

A reassuring tale of friendship and determination overcoming every obstacle, The King's Speech was the safe, conventional choice for Oscar voters.

DVD: The King's Speech (12)

Tom Hooper's determinedly feelgood period piece doesn't delve too much into that ghastly Hitler business, and doesn't address the fact that Winston Churchill was allegedly rather fonder of the abdicating Edward, than his brother, Albert ("Bertie" to his nearest), Duke of York.

Katie: My Beautiful Friends, Channel 4, Tuesday <br/> Women in Love, BBC4, Friday <br/> Midsomer Murders, ITV1, Wednesday

What threatened to be yet another gawp at disfigurement, ended on a note of uplifting hope

The full list of Oscar Winners

Following is a compete list of winners at the 83rd annual Academy Awards in Hollywood.

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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
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300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
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Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk