Ronnie Corbett

Sorry! The English and Their Manners, By Henry Hitchings

We don’t half seem to love books on Englishness. Even those like myself who are second-generation imports love examining our national traits. Often these are written with mildly irreverent humour, shored up by sharp observations and self deprecating asides.

The Week in Radio: Calm and steady when it comes to the crunch

What with austerity, apocalypse and triple-A downgrades forecast (and that's just the beginning of the alphabet) it may be that everyone's going to need a bit of cheering up. And, unlikely as it seems, when the country is engulfed in financial crisis, the person you really want beside you is the sanguine Paul Lewis from Money Box Live. There are some who cite Money Box Live as a textbook example of oxymoron, but I feel its calming approach may be just what's needed in the months ahead. There is a feeling with Lewis that everything is going to be OK. Debating the debt crisis in the southern Eurozone, he might just as well have been discussing if it's worth changing your contents insurance. When an expert explained how credit ratings can nosedive from triple A to triple B he remarked, "sounds like my essay marks". Asking Vince Cable, "Do you think we might go the way of Greece in another 10 years time?" he might have been wondering which building society offers a half percentage higher interest rate. And this is adamantly not a criticism. There is a serious point to be made about the approach and tone of financial journalists. Back in the meltdown of 2008, the urgent thrill and the note of doom in Robert Peston's voice were said to move markets. Lewis, by contrast, has a polite tenacity and a genius for under-egging the pudding. Besides, how can you not admire a man who on his website proclaims, "My head capitalist; my heart socialist; my soul anarchist"? And it must work, because he's just won three journalism awards.

Pandora: Palin stays silent on Merton controversy

For a silent film festival, the Bristol Silents is certainly generating a lot of noise. The annual affair, which celebrates the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy, has become the subject of an uncomfortable row within the comedy community.

Pet of the week: The miniature schnauzer

The miniature schnauzer, or "mini", a robust little dog who cut his teeth chasing rats out of barns in Germany in the 19th century. Nowadays he is more likely to be seen trotting around town as he has become well-established as a "companion" breed.

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Brucie at 80

He's an old-school entertainer who came up the hard way to become a national institution. Andrew Johnson on why it's still nice to see Forsyth on television