Arts and Entertainment

In E4's new US import, Saturday Night Live alumnus Andy Samberg stars as Detective Jake Peralta, a police officer who doesn't take his job as seriously as he should, yet somehow manages to get results. As his squad leader Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews from Everybody Hates Chris) put it: "The only puzzle he hasn't solved is how to grow up."

Pilkington: 'Sometimes it all gets too much: two hours in a room with Ricky can seem a long time'

How We Met: Karl Pilkington & Ricky Gervais

'Sometimes it all gets too much: two hours in a room with Ricky can seem a long time'

Mongrel Island, Soho Theatre, London

"Work is more fun than fun," Noel Coward once declared. As far as we know, though, Noel never had to drudge from nine to five in an office processing the timesheets of care-workers. That happens to be the fate of Marie, the twentysomething harried and likeable central character in Mongrel Island, Ed Harris's accomplished, if slightly trying play.

Last Night's TV - Twenty Twelve, BBC4; The Secret War on Terror, BBC2

At the top of their Games

The return of the sitcom

Thanks to the awkward realism of The Office, the traditional sitcom has spent the last decade firmly out of fashion. But as the success of Miranda proves, a show filmed in front of a live audience can still have the last laugh. By Tim Walker

DVD: Modern Family: Season 1 (12)

It may not be Curb Your Enthusiasm but Modern Family, which adopts the kind of awkward, quasi-documentary style popularised by Larry David's cult comedy – still guarantees plenty of laughs.

Funny families who have the last laugh

As Modern Family screens on British TV, Sarah Hughes says that America has at last found its own Gavin & Stacey

The Aliens, Bush Theatre, London

The veteran director Peter Gill makes his belated debut at the Bush with this sensitive, beautifully acted production of The Aliens, our first glimpse in Britain of work by Annie Baker, the much-lauded young US dramatist. It's a deceptively slight piece that, while it can't live up to the plaudits of the New York critics (who reached for comparisons with Chekhov and Chardin), evinces a real talent for the kind of gentle humour that illustrates how the sadness and the silliness of life are interwoven.

Cultural Life: Tricky, musician

Books: I've just started reading 'The Black Hand' by Chris Blatchford. It's a biography of a guy who dissented from the Mexican Mafia. Reading it you can tell he was super-intelligent and could have had a very different life. I've also been reading Freddie Foreman's autobiography. He was one of England's biggest criminals, bigger than the Kray twins, but he didn't do the press. I've known him for 15 years – he's a good friend of mine, and it's always interesting reading about someone you know.

Ricky Gervais: I'm taking The Office to China

Comedian Ricky Gervais is making a version of his hit show The Office for Chinese television, he said today.

Down Terrace (15)

Whenever a British gangster film lumbers on to the horizon one tends to fear a) the worst and b) the appearance of Danny Dyer.

Mackenzie Crook: More than just the Office boy

Mackenzie Crook is famous for playing Gareth in that sitcom but, as his recent stints in the West End prove, he's no gormless sidekick

Marc Blake: In hard times, it's the Gavin and Staceys we want to snuggle up to

Modern sitcoms may seem cutting age, but they are more conservative than ever. And they are driven by old-fashioned virtues

The saviours of Channel 4

'Peep Show' proves that a television series doesn't have to be a ratings blockbuster

After The Office, it's the Man from the Pru next for Ricky Gervais

It is not the usual stuff of celluloid blockbusters – a quirky "dramedy" about two twenty-somethings in the 1970s who work as building society clerks in the dull suburban surrounds of Reading. Then again, nobody thought that about a comedy set in an office in Slough either.

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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online

Extras
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Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?