Arts and Entertainment

The Week in Radio: Williams was quick on his feet, and willing to cover mishaps with self-deprecating humour

My Secret Life: Taio Cruz, singer-songwriter, 26

My parents were ... My father is originally from Nigeria and is a lawyer; my mother is Brazilian and used to run her own hairdressing company. They are still together.

Going back to his roots: Bill Bailey injects some humour into music

The comedian discusses his remarkable guide to the orchestra...

Plagiarism is no laughing matter for comedians

A performer has highlighted the growing problem of material being reproduced online

Q. When is a joke not a joke? A. When it's offence

The nation's stand-ups can barely open their mouths these days without causing outrage. So have they gone too far – or has Britain lost its sense of humour, asks Ian Burrell

Outside Edge (01/11/09)

World Series fever has hit Philadelphia, where Phillies fan Susan Finkelstein has been charged with offering sex in exchange for tickets to the ball game against the New York Yankees. The married mother of two, 43, was picked up by an undercover cop who responded to her internet advert: "Gorgeous tall buxom blonde – in desperate need of two World Series tickets. Price negotiable – I'm the creative type." The officer said he and his brother had tickets, and she told him she wanted both, rather charmingly because she wanted to take her husband. "I could take care of both of you," she is alleged to have said. She has since received offers from a radio DJ and a car dealer – of tickets, that is.

Howard Jacobson: Make me laugh – even at an offensive joke – but just don't be so smug about it

Self-satisfaction is an unpardonable crime. Hence the need to keep a straight face

Dominic Lawson: Jimmy Carr and the pomposity of those professing outrage

MPs have been quick to join in the confection of fury over a comedian's joke

My Secret Life: Noel Clarke

Actor & director, 34

Britcom Gala Just For Laughs, Theatre Saint-Denis, Montreal

A bout of prostatitis prevented John Cleese from hosting this showcase for UK talent at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. The British comedy icon was due to be one of the event's big draws, along with the US stars Bill Cosby and Whoopi Goldberg, before illness struck and hospitalised him, although he is due to make a rescheduled appearance before the festival ends.

The Comedy Store's 30th Birthday, The Comedy Store, London

The old ones are still the best

My Name Is Daphne Fairfax, By Arthur Smith

The grumpy old man of comedy surveys his career

Jim Carr

In our article, 'Taboo-buster: the dark side of Jimmy Carr' (18 November 2008), we wrote that Jimmy Carr's mother had divorced his father seven years before her death.

Flight of the Conchords: Minimum concept

Less is sometimes more in a sitcom, says Gerard Gilbert

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.

Coming soon: Another round for the Pub Landlord

A year ago, it seemed incredible that Chris Rock could sell out a comedy show in the O2, but we're already getting to the point where the erstwhile Millennium Dome is just another port of call for an A-list stand-up: witness The Pub Landlord's Beautiful British Tour ( www.thepubland-lord.com), which begins on 22 February at the Liverpool Empire (0844 847 2525) and takes in a further 50 dates, including two at the O2 (0844 856 0202) in May.

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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin