Arts and Entertainment London comic Chris Coltrane held up a photo of Putin’s naked torso and joked that if the Russian President wanted to stop the promotion of homosexuality 'maybe he should stop posing for photos like this'

Semi-naked photos of Vladimir Putin and a blast of Tchaikovsky played on an iPad formed parts of comedy protest against homophobia in Russia, staged outside the Russian Consulate General in Edinburgh today.

Last Night's Viewing: Funny Business, BBC2
Growing Up Poor, BBC3

You can have 20 minutes of Ricky Gervais's time for about £25,000, but Michael Mansfield is going to cost you a bit more – up to £40,000, according to Funny Business, Richard Marson's intriguing series about the economics of the comedy boom.

How We Met: Ed Byrne & Andrew Maxwell

'We were exotic strangers competing for notches on the bedpost'

Explosive: Buckley with Ms. Dynamite

Rock's classic genius

When it comes to adding orchestral punch to their sound, pop acts know Jules Buckley is their go-to man, says Emma Love

Philip Hensher: Of Blackadder and white women of a certain age

There are voices out there which traditional media neglect through their age, ethnicity, culture, sexuality

Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

"It's not overlong, it's value for money!" exclaimed Robin Ince at the end of the second night of his third series of seasonal rationalist jamborees, celebrations that are akin to the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures with jingle bells on.

Ryan Dunn: Comedian and stuntman who became a mainstay of the 'Jackass' team

Ryan Dunn was one of the original member of the Jackass crew that became a global phenomenon with their perilous stunts and vulgar gags.

Ruby Wax – Losing It, Menier Chocolate Factory, London

Ruby Wax rose to fame by making an exhibition of exhibitionists, mugging at the camera behind the backs of celebrities and mocking their self-involved lack of circumspection.

David Quantick: The bad news: Everything is dire. The good news: Satire is back

After years in the doldrums, comedy with an edge returns to the screen. Our writer is laughing

Podcasts: Why the future sounds funny

Podcasts are bringing stand-up comedy to new audiences. As the BBC gets in on the act, Frank Skinner and Richard Herring give Ian Burrell the lowdown on downloads

Comedian David Whitney fined for assault

The comedian who headbutted an audience member at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August has been fined £600 after he admitted assault.

DVD: Misfits (18), Tom Green (DVD)

Misfits doesn't promise much: a bunch of community service teens get struck by lightning thereby developing superpowers. We've heard it all before, haven't we, thanks to the considerably bigger-budget NBC series, Heroes.

An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain, By John O'Farrell

The comedic approach to history is a sensible one

Rhod Gilbert and the Cat that looked like Nicholas Lyndhurst, Pleasance Courtyard

Not only is Rhod Gilbert a fantastic comedian, he's a fantastical one. He lives and dies by weaving a fictional tapestry, the weight of which could drag him under at any moment. Once, his intricate illusion went by the name of the made-up town of Llanbobl, but for the last two years he has asked us to inhabit a new world, one of pain in the face of the trials of everyday existence, the comedy equivalent of Portmeirion in The Prisoner.

My Edinburgh: Sarah Millican, Comedian

Most of my memories of Edinburgh are related to food. After one hard show last year, I was flat and miserable and crying. My boyfriend popped into a chippy we were passing and bought me a bag of chips and two bars of dairy milk. There's a lesson to be learned from Scottish chippies that sell chocolate too.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project