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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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men