News

Tom Daley has broken his silence on his alleged gay relationship with screenwriter Dustin Lance Black for the first time

TV review: Crackanory will struggle to have one tenth of the lifespan of its role model

In January 1966, a 17-year-old model, Lesley Hornby, had her hair cut short by celebrity Mayfair stylist Leonard – and Twiggy and her gamine crop went on to become an icon of the Swinging Sixties.

Josh Widdicombe

Josh Widdicombe: The Further Adventures of...,Soho Theatre, London

Rosy-cheeked Devonian Josh Widdicombe is a young man in the pink. The 29-year-old is currently enjoying exposure on Channel 4 in The Last Leg with Adam Hills and his stand up continues to go from strength to strength.

Thomas Sutcliffe: The comedy guide to anti-Islamic prejudice

Social Studies: Comedians know that you can take a short cut to a laugh by way of a received opinion

Last Night's TV: Child Genius: Five Years On / Channel 4<br/>Monte Carlo or Bust / ITV1

Whizz-kids who just want to be normal

Sun, sea, sand, sensation: Page-turners to transport you away from it all this summer

As the glut of politics, sport and reality TV filters away from the news to make way for silly season, it's novels that will provide the thrills for the next month or so. And this year there is no shortage of gutsy, gripping page-turners.

Last Night's Television: Bruce Forsyth: A Comedy Roast, Channel 4<br />Embarrassing Bodies: Charlotte's Story, Channel 4

The point about a comedy roast – spectacularly missed by the newspapers who indignantly reported on Jonathan Ross's insulting remarks about Bruce Forsyth recently – is that the guest of honour is on the spit. An essentially American institution, in which showbiz entertainers gather for what the Scots would call a flyting – or an insult contest – the whole idea is that you let them have it with the best you've got. Offence and embarrassment don't have an invitation, since the only breach of good taste at such events would be to serve underarm because you thought the recipient couldn't handle anything tougher. What's really interesting about them, though – apart from the occasional pre-prepared aces – is that embarrassment is always lurking about there somewhere, waiting to pounce on the possibility that a friendly insult might have strayed just a little too close to a nerve. And in the first of Channel 4's Comedy Roasts it looked to me as if embarrassment was spending quite a lot of time near Jimmy Carr and Jonathan Ross.

The feral beast: Pearson's Telegraph return?

She came from the Daily Telegraph: could Allison Pearson now be going back? Excited chatter reaches me that the Daily Mail columnist may be leaving after four and a half years.

Frank Skinner to front new BBC2 show

Frank Skinner has signed up to front his first BBC2 series since Fantasy Football in the 1990s.

Best showbiz books for Christmas

During the last decade, show-business autobiographies have monopolised the Christmas bestseller lists, and in December it's hard to see beyond the LightEnt memoirs that clutter up booksellers' front desks. Most are pap of course, but there are usually few gems amid the dross, and this year's haul includes several remarkably good books by TV entertainers. The pick of this bunch is My Shit Life So Far by Frankie Boyle (HarperCollins, £18.99). As you might expect from such a self-deprecating title, Boyle is supremely disparaging about virtually everything, from his Spartan Scottish upbringing to his comedy career. His main claim to fame is as a panellist on Mock The Week, a pretty flimsy premise for a full-length autobiography and his healthy contempt for television ("a shiny bauble used to distract morons while they're having their pockets picked") makes this a refreshing antidote to the usual feelgood books by TV stars.

Jack Dee: the BBC&rsquo;s populism is no joke

Jack's back with a new series of 'Lead Balloon', an autobiography, a job hosting 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue' &ndash; and gripes about BBC management. Ian Burrell meets the deadpan Mr Dee

Clued-up for a new start

The 'antidote to panel games' is back on air next week &ndash; this time without Humph. Alice Jones assesses the show's new hosts

Stand up and be counted: 30 years of the Comedy Store

When the Comedy Store threw open its doors, it rewrote the joke book. Julian Hall celebrates 30 years of mirth - and 10 comedians recall their first, nerve-wracking, appearances there

Terence Blacker: Reggie Perrin, still a hero 30 years on

As with this great character, people are still bored and yearn for change

DVD: Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 6, (Warner)

The trick played by this hit semi-improvised sitcom is to make you sympathise with a character who should make you sick.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing