Arts and Entertainment The League of Gentleman perform at the Royal Free Rocks With Laughter show

Adelphi Theatre, London

Sally Hawkins: From a bit-part in Little Britain to the toast of Berlin

It is a long way from the role of girlfriend of Little Britain's stage hypnotist Kenny Craig to the best actress Silver Bear award at the Berlin film festival, but with a bit of help from one of Britain's most prolific directors, Sally Hawkins has managed the journey with startling ease.

Peter Stanford: David Cameron, disability, and the nasty party

There is an enduring stereotype, firmly rooted in the British psyche, that holds that disabled people are basically trying it on. Think the Little Britain character Andy, a wheelchair-user only when it enables him to exploit his carer, Lou, and the rest of society. As a child with a disabled mother, I lost count of the number of people who made clear by their remarks that they assumed she could walk if only she tried a bit harder.

Little Britain, Guildhall, Portsmouth

Stars of stage? Yeah but no but

Little Britain Live, Guildhall, Portsmouth

Grotesque and gaudy comedy kings take show on the road

Julie Burchill: Me and my big mouth

Britain's most controversial journalist, who once regularly held court in the Groucho Club, is now setting herself up as a new figurehead - for chavs. The outspoken Times columnist talks to Ian Burrell about how this resolutely working-class girl made good

'Little Britain' cuts risqué scenes

Scenes from the new series of the award-winning comedy show Little Britain have been deemed too controversial for BBC1 and will be cut before it is shown in December.

Mortimer reveals secret, lonely life of Benny Hill

Sir John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey, has written a television screenplay chronicling the life of the comedian Benny Hill.

Pop review: Into the world music zone

Dreadzone The Junction, Cambridge

Auntie talks Parky back into chat

He flirted with Shirley Maclaine, was verbally assaulted by Muhammad Ali and almost castrated by Emu, the manic puppet. Now Michael Parkinson, doyen of chat show hosts, is being wooed back by the BBC. The corporation is expected to make an announcement about Parkinson, 61, in the next few weeks and he is poised to sign a lucrative deal. He is likely to interview some of the stars he has sparred with before, including Diana Rigg, Raquel Welch and Richard Harris.

Edinburgh Festival: Fringe round-up

Sir Bernard Chumley's Gangshow

Brixton: laughter capital of Europe

COMEDY

Pru goes shopping

PRUDENTIAL Corporation, Britain's biggest investor, is extending its property portfolio yet again by paying pounds 73.5m for the 650,000 sq ft Cwmbran Shopping Centre, the largest retail plot in Wales. This year the Pru has also bought Wolverhampton's Mander Centre and the Little Britain office complex in the City of London.

Gloomy week in store for builders

A ROUND of dividend cuts from top building companies will this week deal a further blow to the sector, which has already been ravaged by falling profits in the wake of the prolonged housing slump and a sharp decline in commercial building.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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South Africa
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there