Arts and Entertainment

In E4's new US import, Saturday Night Live alumnus Andy Samberg stars as Detective Jake Peralta, a police officer who doesn't take his job as seriously as he should, yet somehow manages to get results. As his squad leader Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews from Everybody Hates Chris) put it: "The only puzzle he hasn't solved is how to grow up."

The weekend's viewing: The Real Thumbelina, ITV1; Young Apprentice, BBC1

Lovely little girl..." said Zillah Clift's mum fondly, looking at an old photograph of her daughter as a three-year-old. "And then they grow up," she added meaningfully, though in Zillah's case there wasn't a lot of up about it. Now an adult, with a husband of her own, Zillah is still only four foot two inches high, and still obliged to shop for her shoes in the toddler section. Zillah's taste runs to buzz cuts, piercings and black leather – not a look much catered for in under-fives footwear. She pretty much has a choice of pink, pink, glittery pink or pink.

Terence Blacker: 2011's most annoying people and things

It is the moment in the year when anyone with a public voice is asked to list their favourite books, films or CDs of the year. But those of us in the grumpiness trade have a tougher time. What of the people, animals and stories of whom we have had too much over the past 12 months? Surely they deserve a Christmas list, too.

Pippa Middleton's behind last week landed its owner a £400,000 deal with Penguin
Pilkington: 'Sometimes it all gets too much: two hours in a room with Ricky can seem a long time'

How We Met: Karl Pilkington & Ricky Gervais

'Sometimes it all gets too much: two hours in a room with Ricky can seem a long time'

Terence Blacker: Why is it now so cool to be nasty?

At least we now know how, if you are a comedian whose career is becalmed, you can make yourself the centre of attention. You deploy one of the new swearwords. "Spaz" and "retard" are favourites and, as this week has shown, "mong" can do the trick pretty well, too.

Gervais gets dolphin role in Family Guy

The American cartoon show Family Guy has recruited Ricky Gervais to provide the voice for a new character – a talking dolphin named Billy Finn – in a forthcoming series.

Fantastic Fringe: Your guide to the very best of the 2011 Edinburgh Festival

There are more venues and more performers than ever at this year's festival. As shows spill over into zoos and trains, let Alice Jones be your guide to the biggest and busiest event on the cultural calendar

Mongrel Island, Soho Theatre, London

"Work is more fun than fun," Noel Coward once declared. As far as we know, though, Noel never had to drudge from nine to five in an office processing the timesheets of care-workers. That happens to be the fate of Marie, the twentysomething harried and likeable central character in Mongrel Island, Ed Harris's accomplished, if slightly trying play.

Ricky Gervais says losers are life's characters

Ricky Gervais says "losers" are the real "interesting" characters in life.

Boardrooms are treading the boards

Setting a play in an office can make for a good bottom line. Time to put a suit and tie on, says Michael Coveney

Have you smelled any good films lately?

Giles Brody braces his nostrils for the next generation of scratch'n'sniff movies, starting with Spy Kids 4D

Sandra Bullock to star in Ricky Gervais' comedy

Sandra Bullock is to appear in Ricky Gervais' new comedy series.

Jeff Garlin, Soho Theatre, London

Tasty snacks that don't quite satisfy

An Icelandic sitcom? You must be joking

BBC4's imported crime dramas have been TV hits, but its new foreign comedy may not fare so well, says Gerard Gilbert
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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
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The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
Ministry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
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Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
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newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
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Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
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Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
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David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links