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Michael McIntyre

Channel 4's Comedy Gala, O2, London

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.

Tim Key: Deadpan poet's society

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

Cyberclinic: The slot machine you carry in your pocket

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.

More headlines

Tim Vine: The Joke-amotive, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

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.

To Hell (but not back): Recreating the epic Hellespont crossing that

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...