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

John Bishop, Underbelly<br/>Kevin Eldon, The Stand<br/>Paul Foot, Underbelly<br/>Loretta Maine, The Caves

It could be a lot worse, John &ndash; you could have a dipsomaniac angst rocker on your case

Funny money: Britain's jokers are cashing in

Comedians &ndash; not rock stars &ndash; are selling out some of the biggest venues in the country. Andrew Johnson reports on a joke boom

To Hell (but not back): Recreating the epic Hellespont crossing that sent Leander to a watery grave

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 &ndash; albeit a one-way trip &ndash; 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 &ndash; and immediately encountered the waves that had sent Leander to a watery grave...

Bafta nod for Quentin Crisp actor John Hurt

John Hurt has been nominated for a TV Bafta for reprising the role of Quentin Crisp - 34 years after he received the award for playing the flamboyant gay writer in The Naked Civil Servant.

Channel 4's Comedy Gala, The 02, London

There was a curious mix of something old, something new, something borrowed (such as BBC stars Catherine Tate, Rob Brydon, James Corden and Ruth Jones) and plenty of blue for this mammoth charity gig housed by a venue that was once itself a standing joke when it was the Millennium Dome.

Dom Joly: Parliamentary immunity is handy on trains

Listening to Sir Nicholas Winterton on Five Live, as he described his fear of the sort of people that sat in "standard class", was a peculiarly enjoyable experience. There can be nothing more satisfying than hearing a politician making an arse of himself in public. Stephen Nolan knew that he was on to a winner, and rightly milked it for all he could. "Whinerton" is not standing at the next election, and so was freed of the usual shackles that increasingly bind MPs. He was only saying what all MPs really think – they loathe the general populace, the smelly, tattooed masses who hold their careers in their ignorant hands. Alan Clark was perhaps the most voluble in his disdain of his Devon constituents, but you can tell that many MPs would prefer it if annoying things such as the electorate would just disappear and allow them to carry on with important things such as lunch and decorating their country houses.

My Secret Life: Michael Winner, writer & film-maker, 75

My parents were ... My father was an angel. My mother was dangerous and mad, but adorable.

Herbalism: Kill or cure?

Line after line of colourful cardboard boxes hug the edges of a stack of shelves. Sitting inside a herbal remedy store in west London, the containers' evocative images of plants, bark and berries are emblematic of the natural world's healing properties.

Review of the Year 2009: Our culture critics' top-fives

Violence, vampires and vignettes

Funny business: Rob Brydon on the ups and downs of life as Gavin & Stacey's Uncle Bryn

So, off to meet Rob Brydon, actor, writer, comedian – yes, there are still a few around who aren't Michael McIntyre – and, of course, everyone's favourite man-child, Gavin and Stacey's Uncle Bryn.

Who needs a script? How ad-libbed shows are taking over the schedules

Ad-libbed shows are taking over the schedules &ndash; and they did pretty well at the British Comedy Awards, too. Victoria Richards reports

Will the real Michael McIntyre please stand up?

From out of nowhere, he became Britain's biggest comedy star. But who is Michael McIntyre? And what exactly does he want?

Dominic Lawson: Can we please stand up for Michael McIntyre?

Comedy shows based on shocking us carry the seeds of their own destruction
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness