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Jimmy Carr

Rita Rudner, Leicester Square Theatre, London

On her last visit to London, 19 years ago, Rita Rudner appeared in the Royal Variety Show at the Dominion Theatre. Tonight, she played the more modest, 420-seater, Leicester Square Theatre. However, the American has not lost her lustre and in-between time has become Las Vegas's most successful comedians.

The Horne Section: Songs in the key of silly

It's the perfect match. The improvised musings of the country's best comedians combined with the free-form noodlings of a five-piece jazz band. When The Horne Section debuted at Edinburgh this summer, it quickly became the talk of the Fringe. Punters clutching pints queued round the block for the occasional, lightly shambolic midnight shows. Jimmy Carr dropped by to rap out 10 one-liners over 10 different beats, Tim Minchin improvised a song about cheese and Tim Key performed a track by the Russian punk band Leningrad. There were burlesque dancers, shared bags of chips and 2am Bon Jovi singalongs, led by Josie Long with Mark Watson on drums.

The Diary: Richard Hamilton; Jimmy Carr; John Constable; Bompas and

At the ripe old age of 88, Richard Hamilton is showing his playful side as he curates a show opening at the Alan Cristea Gallery next month. Titled "Shit and Flowers", it will include, deep breath, paintings from the artist's lesser-known scatological phase. Not shown since the 1970s and never as a group, the works consist of romantic, pastoral scenes, worthy of Watteau, into which the godfather of Pop Art has painted Andrex loo rolls and rather less fragrant elements. "Flowery allure is an irrelevant anachronism in the context of cultural ideas in our period", Hamilton explains. "It takes perversity and a touch of irony to make it tolerable."

Observations: Aczel is a shambles of a comic success

"There will be some mild amusement and a little boredom," says the comedian Ed Aczel, introducing his act. It's hardly the ringing endorsement that you would expect, but that's the way Aczel rolls. Coming to comedy late via an evening course (he continues to hold down a regular job as an account manager for employee benefit schemes), Aczel, 42, graduated from it as bemused as he came in, a state that dictates his style. Slightly embarrassed, awkward and deliberately lacklustre, his shtick has won him second place in the BBC New Comedy Award within 18 months of starting out and a leg-up from Jimmy Carr's Comedy Idol competition, in which he came second in 2006. Carr went on to declare Aczel's 2007 Edinburgh show "the funniest thing on the Fringe" on The Culture Show.

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Matthew Horne: Fom Gavin & Stacey to leather-clad psycho

Mathew Horne would like to get one thing straight. "Gavin's much nicer than I am. I'm nothing, nothing like him. I'm not from his world. I don't have a family like that. I don't have a job like that. I don't dress like him. I don't talk like him. I don't have friends like him. I'm nothing like him." Phew. Got that? The actor best known as the romantic hero at the heart of the Bafta-winning sitcom Gavin & Stacey is nothing like his most famous creation.