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Comedian attacks production companies behind popular shows for simply employing their own clients
If there had been a spot for stand-up in the London 2012 closing ceremonies, it would surely have gone to Michael McIntyre.
Abandoned warehouses, monstrous babies and dry ice are scary in any language, it seems.
Sarah Marsh talks to Josh Widdicombe about gigging with Michael McIntyre, future plans and why comedians are insecure.
The Edinburgh Festival is now so crowded that many comedy acts are instead taking to the web in their attempts to break through. But is it any easier – and are the results worthwhile? Matt Chorley asks YouTube's big hitters
Post-punk icon and inveterate grump Mark E Smith was recently asked what makes him most depressed; his answer was "all UK comedians". With a considerable number of tonight's 21 acts on poor form, partly due to over-runs, this charity gala could be admissible as evidence to support Smith's scything comment.
In the absence of Simon Cowell, Holden's hair is star of 'Britain's Got Talent'
Steve Coogan is a big fan, but Tim Key doesn't do sold-out arenas and TV stand-up – and he loves it when no one laughs at his verse
Safety concerns sparked drive to outlaw products
I'm sufficiently au fait with my own weaknesses to know that I ought to steer clear of computer games. I've had lapses that have verged on obsession over the years; Doom about a decade ago, World of Warcraft a couple of years ago – thanks to an assignment for this newspaper that got out of hand – and, more recently, Word Solitaire Aurora for the iPhone, which is like a never-ending episode of Countdown without the weak puns. But while playing these games I felt, however misguidedly, that I was undergoing some process of self-improvement. Doom enhanced my talent for blasting monsters into the ether.
It is now big, big business. But does that mean the safe middle ground will become ever more crowded?
Pearson, the publisher behind Penguin Books and The Financial Times, upgraded its profits forecast for a second time this year after a strong performance across all of its businesses.
The moment Tim Vine utters the joke that won him the award for the Funniest Joke of the Fringe – "I've just been on a once in a lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what. Never again." – there's a huge roar of appreciation from the audience. Embarrassed, Vine observes that the award has killed the joke.
It could be a lot worse, John – you could have a dipsomaniac angst rocker on your case
Comedians – not rock stars – are selling out some of the biggest venues in the country. Andrew Johnson reports on a joke boom
Greek myth had it that Leander would swim the Hellespont to his lover every night, then return before dawn. When Byron followed in his wake, the swim – albeit a one-way trip – became arguably the world's most iconic. Two hundred years later to the day, Robert Epstein set out to recreate the poet's epic journey from Europe to Asia – and immediately encountered the waves that had sent Leander to a watery grave...