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.

jo brand's week

Look what's happened. A Labour landslide, goodbye to the Tories and the dawn of a new era, which leads me to wonder how comics are going to deal with the next five years and tackle the characters who will make up our new government. Well, many comics will be doing what they have always done, which is to ignore politics altogether. Popular television comedy these days, with the exception of a few like Rory Bremner and Mark Thomas, shies away from any political stance at all. The Day Today, Mrs Merton, French and Saunders and Alan Partridge all keep it shut as far as political opinion is concerned, which is probably why they are on big telly channels.

Trendspotting #9

l THE HOMELESS ARE HOT

Comedy: Eye on the New

Described by one newspaper as "Harry Enfield for the millennium", Simon Day is a canny character comedian whose talents as rambling music-hall performer Tommy Cockles and others have reached a wide audience through The Fast Show.

'I discovered how bad many PR people are'

Peter Hehir, 51, is now joint chairman of Porter Novelli International, the world's fourth largest PR firm, after selling Countrywide Communications to its parent company, Omnicom, for around pounds 12m

Junk mail jokers swamp ministers

COMEDIAN Mark Thomas opposes Royal Mail privatisation - so he has targeted its architects for revenge.

Garter Snakes? They have it easy compared with putting a show on in this place

It's official - the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is huge. Dust off any copy of the Guinness Book of Records, look up "Festivals: Enormous" and there she blows: 200 venues, 660 theatrical groups, 9,000 performers and a zillion shows: everything from Waiting for Godot in German to a semi-naked bloke doing acrobatics in a bath off the castle battlements. And who pays for this artistic outpouring? A mysterious government department? The punters? No. By and large it is the performers themselves. Like Garter Snakes struggling in their hundreds to mate with a single female in some grotesque wildlife documentary, here fringe performers struggle in droves to attract the attention of the press, the public, non English-speaking tourists - anyone who will enable them to recoup at least part of their investment. After two years performing at other summer festivals across the world, trying in effect desperately to avoid this place, I am back myself and let me tell you - those Garter Snakes have it easy.

Legends of the comedy terrorist

Malcolm Hardee, hard-drinking King of the Fringe, is still ripping his clothes off in the name of showbiz anarchy.

Jokers in cyberspace

surf's up; The Web is a playground for comedians - but even comics can fall victim to pranksters ...

The tank driver

Mark Thomas may be our cheekiest comedian. Nicholas Barber meets the foul-mouthed scourge of William Waldegrave's doorstep

Flouting Thomas

A bit of politics goes a long way in Mark Thomas's TV show.

LETTER: Pioneer Goon

From Mr Colin Berkeley

Enfield wins Montreux Golden Rose

TV comedian and Indepdentent on Sunday columnist Harry Enfield has won a Golden Rose of Montreux for his BBC hit Smashie and Nicey - End of an Era. The show, which was made by Tiger Aspect Productions, also starred Paul Whitehouse, who co-wrote the script with Enfield.

Last of the latex laffs

POLEMIC Spitting Image is dead. Long live political comedy, says David Tyler

ARTS : What's the secret of comedy?

Er... timing. But then there's the state of the audience on the night, the gag writing, the compere's introduction, the post-performance analysis... Mark Wareham asks six alternative comedians to put together their guide to good gigging

The Edinburgh Festival 1994: Comedy & Cabaret

Best of the Fest 1-3 (Playhouse, 031-557 2590, 27 & 29 Aug). A trio of shows featuring the stars of the Off the Kerb stable: Julian Clary, Lee Evans, Jeff Green, Hattie Hayridge and Mark Thomas; then Jack Dee, Mark Lamarr, Rhona Cameron, Richard Morton and Mark Thomas again; then Jo Brand and special guests.
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week