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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Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
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Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
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Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
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Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
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premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
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Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
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Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
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fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin