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

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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power