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 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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

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.

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.
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
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world cup 2014
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Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
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Life and Style
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peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
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Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
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In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

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Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial