News Fortune was at his best in the Long Johns' sketches that poked fun at authority

John Fortune was the comedian and satirist best known for his work on the long-running television comedy series Bremner, Bird and Fortune, together with fellow comics Rory Bremner and John Bird, that ran for 16 series from 1999 to 2010.

TELEVISION / Personal services: Of course, things have never been the same since That Was the Week that Was . . . Oh yeah? Jim White says satire is alive and spitting

The comedian Victor Lewis Smith once reduced the production staff at That's Life to a pool of gibbering liquid with a particularly savage telephone gag. Posing as a disabled trombonist, Lewis Smith rang to ask if he might be auditioned for the show. A member of Esther Rantzen's team showed growing excitement as Lewis Smith played the trombone passably. But the mood altered dramatically as he pretended to collapse out of his wheel-chair in a death swoon.

Television (Review): When loose ends slip through sweaty palms

WE'RE MAKING a film which is very much a travel film,' explained John Sweeney to the man who runs Osijek, a character recently described by another journalist as 'a serial killer in fatigues'. This was not exactly candid, although you couldn't really blame him for it. The man behind the desk was responsible for setting up the International Brigade, a nasty assemblage of foreign adventurers and mercenaries who fought on the Croatian side, and Sweeney was investigating what he believed were two murders - the death of a Swiss journalist, Christian Wertenberg, and of the photographer Paul Jenks.

BEST-SELLERS / Top 10 comedian golfers

----------------------------------------------------------------- TOP 10 COMEDIAN GOLFERS ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Jimmy Tarbuck 2 Bruce Forsyth 3 Peter Cook 4 Mike Reid 5 Bobby Davro 6 Roger de Courcey 7 Stan Boardman 8 Tom O'Connor 9 Jim Davidson 10 Paul Shane ----------------------------------------------------------------- Information from the Comedians Golfing Society, London -----------------------------------------------------------------

Revenge clue as sex club fire toll reaches 8

AN ARSON attack on a London sex cinema club was being blamed yesterday on a man banned after a fight there earlier in the evening.

Witnesses say building blew up within minutes: Cinema death blaze: Murder of eight at 'dingy' club prompts demands for review of fire rules and inspections

A REMOVAL MAN yesterday described how he backed his van up against the blazing Dream City

Here Today: National Film Theatre: Desert Island Movies

Remember the scene in Bedazzled, where Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, dressed as the Fruni Green Eyewash men, swindle pounds 10 from the kind old lady? Nope, you probably don't. Despite its relative success, Bedazzled is hardly ever shown on television. Neither is Robert Altman's California Split, Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore or Francis Ford Coppola's You're a Big Boy Now. Difficult to find on video, they are all films I need to see now or I think I may explode.

Sport on TV: Blokes and banality on fantasy island

I'D GOT back from the pub just before the advertised 11.15pm kick-off of Football Fantasy League (BBC2, Friday), only to see a haggard old woman unwrapping a pack of - non-inflatable - bananas. The advance publicity for sport's newest game-show had largely passed me by, so for a short while I was guessing that this might be a visual clue to a question about terrace racism in the 1980s. But then it became apparent that Newsnight was running late with a Moscow food- shortage report.

RADIO / An act of surrender: Robert Hanks on the BBC 2/ Radio 4 collaboration, Arena's Radio Night, and how History Now and Then was made

It's impossible to spend much time thinking about radio without finding yourself brooding on its relationship with television, which has stolen so much of its popular audience, so much of the available money, so much - you may think in gloomier moments, such as listening to Radio 4 sitcoms - of the available talent. There's no doubt that television is now the dominant medium, measured in terms of audience size and influence.

REVIEW / Close your eyes and think of the BBC

IT WAS the television set versus the wireless on Arena Radio Night (BBC 2, Saturday) - four hours of shared programmes and never-before-attempted hook-ups which required you to have both appliances running in the same room. 'It's a bit like letting the canary out of the cage while the cat's in the room,' warned David Attenborough at the start, trying to whet our appetite for a scrap.

Interview: The top ten pleasures of Peter Cook: What does the arch wit get up to these days? Chitchat (especially over lunch) is a favourite occupation, and pedantry. Sex is not included, and certainly nothing too stretching . . .

Midday, and Peter Cook is up and about. Glass of champagne in hand, industrial-size ashtray full of smouldering butts in front of him, all the morning papers spread out, television on, faxes the length of wallpaper on the floor, a box of unopened correspondence in the hall. 'No point in opening them. Strangers seldom write with welcome news.'

William Donaldson's Week: A novel of the right class

MY FRIEND Craig Brown has come up with an interesting variation on Judd's Paradox, which, you may remember, is that if it's rational to work only with your intellectual superiors then you can't work with them since they, obviously, will refuse to work with you.

William Donaldson's Week: Justin Judd's clever question

IT'S SNUBS, as it happens, to all those people (in fact, only my wife and Terence Blackler) who have complained that I've been banging on too much in recent weeks about the frightful Cornish

Show People 80: Small but perfectly formed: Dudley Moore

DUDLEY MOORE recalls going to the bat mitzvah of his agent's daughter with Malcolm McDowell. As soon as a woman started playing a religious tune on the guitar, the two actors got the giggles - uncontrollably. The more people tut-tutted and the more they tried to suppress the laughter, the more freely it flowed. 'It was the most awful experience,' Moore remembers, 'yet it was quite delicious. The worst times I've ever had have been like that, where you're trying to avoid being glanced at by authoritarian figures.'

Keating cabinet gets youthful look: PM starts drive to regenerate labor government

AUSTRALIA'S Prime Minister, Paul Keating, yesterday announced a cabinet of new young ministers in his drive to regenerate the Labor government. He then led his team of 30 ministers to a swearing-in ceremony before the Governor-General, in which each pledged allegiance to the Queen. If Mr Keating has his way and Australia becomes a republic through a referendum by the end of the decade, it will have been one of the country's last such ceremonies.
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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London