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.

Unison officials appeal over 'wise monkey' ban

Four members barred from holding office over claims leaflet was racist

Britons urged to try a simple act of kindness

Juliet Stevenson, Michael Palin and the Archbishop of Canterbury are among the first of thousands across Britain to put time aside for refugees as part of a campaign to acknowledge their contribution to the country.

Coming Soon: The campaigning comic returns

Possibly the only comedian to have received both a Sony Award and a Kurdish National Congress Medal of Honour, Mark Thomas (www.markthomasinfo.com) is as renowned for his political activism as he is for his hearty yet acerbic stand-up.

Thousands gather for G20 protest

Thousands of protesters from across the UK and around the world gathered in the rain in London today for a huge march for "jobs, justice and climate" in the first of a week of demonstrations ahead of the G20 summit.

Andrew Keen: Digital feudalism

I'm in London this week. Tonight I recorded a programme for the BBC tv show "It's Only A Theory" hosted by the comedians Andy Hamilton and Reginald D. Hunter.

Three Godless Christmas shows

Forget Nativity plays, a different kind of Christmas show is coming to town. And with a talk by Richard Dawkins and stand-up by Ricky Gervais, it's a gift for the non-believer, says Julian Hall

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/09/watch-it-ricky.html" target="_blank">Watch It! Ricky Gervais gets his Emmy, eventually</a>

The Brits may not have done as well as hoped at this year's Emmys but there was a reminder of last year's success for Ricky Gervais.

No laughing matter: comedian advertises Coca-Cola's 'Nazi' past

Coca-Cola adverts are to be found in the farthest corners of the globe promoting a happy, wholesome image, but now they are the subject of a new exhibition which links the soft drinks giant with Nazi Germany.

Comedian cleared of criminal damage derides 'preposterous' case against him

Mark Thomas, Channel 4's activist comedian, attacked the decision to bring a court case against him as "preposterous" yesterday, after he was cleared of damaging a mini-van during an anti-arms protest.

Comedian on trial for &Acirc;&pound;80 damage to bus

The campaigning television comedian Mark Thomas appeared in court yesterday for the beginning of a two-day trial accused of causing £80 worth of damage to a minivan during an arms protest.

Interview: Meera Syal - MEERA'S IMAGE

Meera Syal, actress and novelist, is funny, fashionable and widely feted. But the star of `Goodness Gracious Me' still feels limited in her role as a principally Asian role model. Gareth Rubin meets her

Me And My Partner: Jez Nelson and Sonita Alleyne

Jez Nelson, 35, met Sonita Alleyne, 32, at Jazz FM in 1989 when it launched. In 1991, they each put pounds 500 in the bank and set up Somethin' Else which ran Edinburgh's first Festival FM station. It is now one of our biggest independent radio production companies

PUB LANDLORD'S PERRIER

PUB LANDLORD'S PERRIER
Sport
tennisLive: Follow all the updates from Melbourne as Murray faces Czech Tomas Berdych in the semi-final
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
musicYou'll have to ask Taylor Swift first
News
Joel Grey, now 82, won several awards for his role in Cabaret
people
Sport
Harry Kane celebrates scoring the opening goal for Spurs
footballLive: All the latest transfer news as deadline day looms
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness