Arts and Entertainment English TV host Sir Bruce Forsyth poses on the red carpet as he arrives at the British Academy Television Awards in London on May 12, 2013

Audiences get a one-week respite from the TV veteran's jokes

In Thing: Farah trousers

Last seen on mods with Ben Sherman shirts to match, John Travolta in

Obituary: Spike Mullins

Dennis Jeremiah (Spike) Mullins, writer: born London 12 October 1915; married 1947 Mary McMenamin (two sons); died Ascot 18 April 1994.

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold: How the Queen Mother could save the Party

IT WOULD be most dreadfully sad, nay tragic, were Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother to - how should one put it? - 'drop off her perch' before the next general election. But, as the wise old adage has it, every cloud has a silver lining. Beneath the stark tragedy of the event, the benefits accruing from the various funerals, memorial services, documentary series, commemorative trinkets, etc, would give an inestimable boost to Conservative fortunes.

INTERVIEW / Plowman's half hour: Jon Plowman is the straight man behind the funny women played by French and Saunders. Life's a gag, the TV producer tells Sabine Durrant

Murder Most Horrid and Absolutely Fabulous have several things in common. They both rest on the shoulders of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. They're both predominantly directed by Bob Spiers. And they're both produced by Jon Plowman - the man behind the original French & Saunders series, behind Smith & Jones and Fry & Laurie, behind Comic Relief, the man who is BBC Head of Comedy Entertainment. He must be very powerful, this Jon Plowman. 'You could look at everything I've produced over the last few years,' he says, trying to help, 'and analyse a very sick man who has a very sick, sad sense of humour and lives a tragic life, surrounded by a lot of very dominant women'.

COMEDY / Arena is no joke

FORGET James Brown. The hardest working person in showbusiness is Newman and Baddiel's PR. The appearance of these 'rock star' comics at Wembley Arena on Friday was preceded by the sort of hype normally reserved for, er, rock stars. Almost inevitably, the show failed to live up to it.

COMEDY / Oldie but golden

A MAN in a gold-patterned waistcoat is perched on a barstool. His relaxed musings are punctuated with confidential questions: 'Isn't it irritating when . . ? Have you ever noticed how . . ?' This is the archetype of stand-up comedy, embodied by Barry Cryer (Assembly) in his show, 'That Reminds Me . . .'. Elsewhere in Edinburgh, there seems to be a move among comics away from such conventional stand-up. But if it were all as accomplished as this, they wouldn't need to bother.

Media: Still looking for the right light touch: Michael Leapman on an unfunny truth for the BBC: its mass audience for mainstream comedy has vanished

THE BBC has officially taken the 'light' out of light entertainment. On Monday it announced the appointment of David Liddiment as head of the Entertainment Group for Television, replacing Jim Moir, head of the Light Entertainment Group.

TELEVISION / Talking out of his class

MAKING a documentary about the British and class can only be compared to shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel. Is there anything more to be added to this strip-mined topic that the famous Sixties John Cleese / Ronnie Barker / Ronnie Corbett 'Upper class, middle class, lower class' sketch didn't wittily announce and denounce in a record four minutes?

The fading light at the BBC

BILL COTTON, managing director of BBC Television from 1984 to 1988, said last week that the corporation was in danger of making a 'colossal mistake' in abandoning its role as 'the backbone of the entertainment industry in Britain.'

TELEVISION / And the outlook: more clouds: Lucy Tuck reviews Every Silver Lining, Simon Block's sitcom debut

There is a school of thought which holds that wit has no place in situation comedy; that what the genre and its audience demand is not verbal inventiveness but the comfort of cliche, stereotype and stock situations - a dependable and unchallenging half an hour of bossy wives, harassed husbands and precocious children, folk wisdoms and bawdy asides.

BBC to seek partners for satellite channels

BBC Television wants to launch a BBC 3, BBC 4 and BBC 5, all funded by advertising, as early as next year, writes Martin Wroe.

ROCK / Camp without the kicks

THIS WHOLE pop music thing has been a terrible mistake. Classical is best. Nigel Kennedy is a lovable rogue. The strident harmonies and frantic kitsch of

ROCK / Young, gifted and white

THE LAST time Jamiroquai played in London was in a small, sold-out club. It was not a complete success. So booking them in at the Town & Country seems a little ambitious. In the event it leads to what is known in dancing circles as a roadblock. You can't move for nightclub cognoscenti in crisp polyester.

Obituary: Cardew Robinson

Douglas ('Cardew') Robinson, born Goodmayes Essex 14 August 1917, died London 27 December 1992.

The Best and Worst of Times: The boots were too big and the plates too high: Ronnie Corbett talks to Danny Danziger

I WAS trying to make a start in the business, doing the odd day's filming, a concert party or pantomime, that kind of thing, very sporadic. So I was always looking for paying jobs, the sort of jobs out-of-work actors tend to do: working at milk-bottling factories, or looking after blocks of flats, stoking the boilers.
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

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It's oh so quiet!

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If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

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'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

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How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

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Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

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The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
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End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

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