Arts and Entertainment John Oliver has now landed his own show with the premier US network HBO

Birmingham-born comic will front satirical news programme on Sunday evenings

Twin Towers costumes, a llama and a sombrero: How to do (or not to do) drunken tomfoolery

This week we’ve seen the best and worst sides of drunken excesses. What have we learnt? Just like in life: llamas good, racism bad.

Birmingham University's Guild of Students bans “racist” Halloween outfits

Students wearing Mexican, Native American and Sacha Baron Cohen costumes were all turned away from an event

Clowning around: Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Phil Burgers' workshops are a hit with fellow comedians

With stand-up dominated by the one-comic-and-a mic-form of observational humour, it's little wonder that some comedians are seeking more alternative modes of expression to set themselves apart. The Boy with Tape On His Face distinguishes himself with a joyously retro presentation of silent, performance-led humour, while the bestowal of the Edinburgh Comedy Award on Phil Burgers last year, for his mute, sexualised and playfully scary bouffon Dr Brown, echoed and endorsed the stand-up circuit's burgeoning interest in clowning.

Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood has been axed from the station after almost 20 years

Tim Westwood axed as Radio 1's voice of rap after nearly 20 years

The controversial hip-hop pioneer has been axed as part of a scheduling shake-up on Radio 1

Sacha Baron Cohen (left) was due to play Freddie Mercury (right) in a film of his life

I want to break free: Sacha Baron Cohen exits Freddie Mercury biopic over 'creative differences' with Queen

Comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen is reported to have quit playing the lead in an impending Freddie Mercury biopic due to a disagreement with the remaining members of Queen.

Actress Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher on making it in Hollywood (and how being married to Sacha Baron Cohen DIDN'T help)

'Women should not have to adopt masculine traits in order to succeed,' says Australian actress

According to German tabloid Bild, eccentric characters like Prince Philip have a lot to offer the continent

Philip, Boris and Nessie: All provide reasons to stay in EU

German tabloid begs 'beautifully crazy' Britain to stay

The foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) has new challenges ahead in the new series

Malcolm Tucker and the The Thick of It triumph at the British Comedy Awards

Peter Capaldi and Rebecca Front won best actor and actress gongs for their efforts in Armando Iannucci's Shadow Cabinet

Page 3 Profile: Karl Rove, Republican strategist

Sharing in the election joy?

Page 3 Profile: Nadine Dorries, Conservative MP

Another jibe at Cameron?

Page 3 Profile: John Key, New Zealand PM

New policy?

New Zealand Prime Minister denies calling David Beckham 'thick'

New Zealand's prime minister has denied allegations that he called David Beckham “thick”.

Bournemouth wouldn’t be the first town to take a stand against stag and hen dos. Police in Newquay said a ban on the “inappropriate clothing” associated with such parties had helped to lower anti-social behaviour and recorded crime this year.

Bournemouth police commissioner candidate vows to end the town's stag and hen party culture

The stag and hen party culture in Bournemouth is causing anti-social behaviour and strict new measures are needed to “reclaim” the town’s night-time economy, according to a local police and crime commissioner candidate.

Ban on mankinis is good news for stags

Tales from the Water Cooler

Ban on mankinis is good news for stags

Tales from the Water Cooler
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own