Voices

Politics seems abstract, completely removed from everyday life

BBC to unveil new editorial guidelines

The BBC Trust, the broadcasting corporation's internal regulator, will today unveil new editorial guidelines aimed at rebuilding the trust of viewers in wake of a series of high-profile breaches of standards.

Jack Whitehall: Nearly Rebellious, The Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

It's not too unfair to suggest that Jack Whitehall starts this festival with a comedy deficit thanks to the limpness of the TNT Show, his Channel 4 vehicle that follows his stint on E4's Big Brother's Big Mouth. Still, the 21-year old stand-up sets about over-hauling this negative position with great gusto in a show – and Fringe debut – that's so finely tuned as to be almost too efficient.

Big laughs: Why do we turn to stadium comedy whenever the economy becomes a sick joke?

Russell Brand and Al Murray are packing out London's 15,000-seat O2 Arena

A compilation of Russell Brand's radio shows reveals there's life after 'Sachsgate'

I've no doubt that some critics of Russell Brand might suggest that a portion of the monies received for his new four-disc compilation, The Best of What's Legal, charting his former Radio 2 show, should be diverted to pay the BBC's £150,000 fine that arose from "Sachsgate". Indeed, the compilation is introduced by Brand almost as if it were the case for the defence, reminding us how the show spent most of the time teetering on the brink of anarchy and mischief before being engulfed by it.

Observations: Stand up for some teen angst

"My life is essentially a string of embarrassing and shameful incidents punctuated only by telling people about the embarrassing and shameful incidents." So runs Russell Brand's stand-up credo. He's not alone: comedians thrive on embarrassment – of their hecklers, of their family, of their hapless front-row fans and, more often than not, of themselves. So what better segment of society to participate in a new exercise in shameless soul-baring on Radio 4? In a new series, My Teenage Diary (starting next Wednesday at 11pm), six stand-ups will dust off their adolescent journals and read out, Adrian Mole-style, their angstiest extracts for our amusement.

Editor-At-Large: Look who's worst off in recession – women, of course

Here's my advice on how to cope with the cascade of bad news on the economic front: pour a drink and eat a bar of chocolate. The Daily Mail is so concerned that it has taken to printing daily offers and bargains – but who is making these selections? There's a deluxe shiatsu massage chair reduced, by £20 to £179.99 and a set of drinks coasters for just £3.40. Most of us could save more money by rolling around on a couple of golf balls and standing our drinks on a bit of newspaper. There's redundant advice everywhere – a book on how to combine work and family talks of paying for home visits by a manicurist. Has the writer heard of Marie Antoinette?

Jonathan Ross calls 'were madness'

The prank calls made to Andrew Sachs by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross were "an act of broadcasting madness", Director of BBC Vision Jana Bennett has said.

Russell Brand, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

No apology, and not all that many laughs either

Martha Arthur: My 10-step plan to save Russell Brand

At this time of year, we can all find ourselves beleaguered by self-doubt, worry and other spiritual verrucas. So let me, Martha Arthur, apply the pumice stone of my famously tough advice. As the 'Dilemmas' columnist for The New Review, I receive the most touching postbag – confessions of trembling insecurity from 'Newsnight' anchormen, existential musings from top models, requests for advanced origami tips from ministers of state... So I am airing and sharing here a selection of my latest correspondence, in the interests of helping us all along the path to happiness, and nothing to do with clearing my credit-card bill. I hope these missives will cheer, encourage and titillate. I mean, enlighten. Love, Martha

Christina Patterson: When there's a male crisis, blame the women

Which is better: to keep society ticking along, or the planet?

Sachsgate, the death of kiss 'n' tell – and start of a very big squeeze

The BBC was shamed by a phone call while an orgy brought humiliation to the News of the World. But as the media faces economic meltdown, has it learnt from the errors of 2008, asks Ian Burrell

How do I look?: Ben Esser, musician, 23

I have extreme views towards people who wear certain clothes. But not towards the clothes themselves. There are people whose clothes offend everyone. Russell Brand, for one, but maybe that's just him.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas