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The MP for Tottenham spoke to The Independent about a short film project on social housing in the capital

Hollywood pressure driving Russell Brand to the barber

Russell Brand said he will cut his shaggy mane for the sake of his Hollywood career.

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.

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He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
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Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
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Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

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Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

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Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

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