Arts and Entertainment Laughing all the way...: Michael McIntyre's latest tour raked in £21m

The comedian says he is 'overwhelmingly excited' about the show

Cresswell (left), with his young brother, Luke, creator of 'Stomp'

Addison Cresswell: Talent-spotter who brought a string of comedians to the fore and forged a new format for television comedy

By the time of his sudden death, Addison Cresswell was undeniably a captain of the British comedy industry. Tall, fast-talking, dapper and not averse to thumping tables to make a point, the power he wielded as director of the comedy management agency Off The Kerb gained him a fearsome reputation, and one of which he was well aware. In 2000, he brought up his having been described as "the Darth Vader of the Fringe" before his interviewer had a chance to. His philosophy was this: "Small acts feed off the big ones and you need a few big names to make people feel it's worth going to."

Christmas cheer? Simon Amstell

The week in comedy: 'Tis the season to buy jolly DVDs

It was Super Monday this week – the comedy industry's equivalent to Super Thursday, when publishers flood the bookshops with celebrity memoirs and other sure-sellers for the festive market. So on Monday DVDs by Miranda Hart, Reginald D Hunter, Micky Flanagan, Jack Dee, Eddie Izzard, Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey, Seann Walsh, Keith Lemon and others hit the shelves.

The Russell Brand effect: the mystery explained

Putting to one side for a second that Brand is extremely clever and funny, why do women find this scruffy, skinny, messy-haired effeminate so irresistible?

Nick Helm pays homage to Evel Knievel in his brilliant Edinburgh show

Edinburgh Festival 2013 comedy review: Nick Helm strips down physically and emotionally

Comedian thoroughly earning his award nomination

Bridget Christie – 'A Bic for Her'

Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Awards stand up for stand-up

Stand-up has returned to dominate Edinburgh’s showcase comedy awards after a big year for mime in 2012, with one shortlisted comedian even bringing back mother-in-law jokes.

The Voice scored its lowest viewing figures for the current series last night

Even with no Britain's Got Talent, The Voice suffers series-low viewing figures

Over on ITV, the Champions League final pulled in 3.5 million viewers

How We Met: Zoe Lyons & Kerry Godliman

'She'd say, "Come on, yank yourself up and keep going!" Then I'd have a cry'

Frontrunners for this year's laftas

Fresh Meat, Frankie Boyle, Keith Lemon and Rylan in the front running for this year's Laftas

The 'good, the tanned and the ugly' up for this year's comic alternative to the Baftas

Stewart Lee has accused the makers of Britain’s most popular comedy shows of featuring a “tiny coterie” of acts who are also their clients

Stewart Lee is not amused at monopoly control of TV comedy

Comedian attacks production companies behind popular shows for simply employing their own clients

Michael McIntyre, The O2, London

If there had been a spot for stand-up in the London 2012 closing ceremonies, it would surely have gone to Michael McIntyre.

Ghost Stories

Alice Jones' Arts Diary: A new haunt in Moscow for Nyman and Dyson's spooky smash-hit

Abandoned warehouses, monstrous babies and dry ice are scary in any language, it seems.

Josh Widdicombe

Exclusive interview with Josh Widdicombe

Sarah Marsh talks to Josh Widdicombe about gigging with Michael McIntyre, future plans and why comedians are insecure.

The hottest ticket in comedy? Comedians' favourite is set to return

He has been called the comedian's comedian, a 21st-century raconteur who avoids the limelight by shunning profile-raising TV work. Now Daniel Kitson is returning to stand-up after a three-year absence, sparking a frenzy for tickets to watch him test his fresh material.

Being Modern: Arena comedy

You see those two tiny dots in the distance? That's you, that is. Well, it was if "you" were Rob Newman and David Baddiel. Oh, how we chuckled at their "History Today" sketches in the early 1990s. How we roared as they took their shtick to Wembley Arena, becoming the first comedians to fill its 12,000 seats. How we wept when we realised we were sat so far from the stage that they might as well have been sarcastic marionettes.

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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