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

It was no joke for me, ambushed by Ali G

Richard D North was one of those humiliated on Ali G's show last weekend. Fair enough. But he has a bone to pick with his tormentor

Why do I squirm whenever Ali G is on the box?

I LOVE watching Ali G, the weird character who appears on Channel 4's The 11 O'Clock Show, the naughty, news-based programme that is fronted by two very clever and offensively young presenters.

Food allergies may be linked to autism

ALLERGIES MAY play a role in autism, a child health specialist said yesterday.

Television: The raw and the half-baked

Whatever has happened to Food and Drink (BBC2)? I stumbled across it last week, for the first time in a year or two, and I was shocked. It used to be an agreeably middlebrow, Middle-England sort of affair, amiably presented by Chris Kelly, a man any Rotary Club would be proud to call its own. There was also a little deft cookery by the chappie who invented Classic FM, and robust consideration of an issue or two.

Science: Why men become anoraks

Evolution may have programmed an autistic element into men's psyches which makes them prone to obsessive, train-spotterish behaviour.

A different way of thinking

Autism affects roughly one in 1,000 babies, most often boys. While around 75 per cent of autistic people also have some form of mental retardation, the syndrome itself does not involve retardation but characteristically features difficulties in communicating and relating to other people and what appears to be a quite different way of perceiving the world.

Got the evolution blues...

We are accustomed to attributing depression, anxiety and other mental disorders to faulty brain chemistry or childhood trauma. But there may be another explanation: the legacy of the apes.

SCIENCE / Unscrambling Synaesthesia

RICHARD Cytowic has spent a decade studying the history and causes of synaesthesia. At the core of his research is evidence that the brains of synaesthetes are organised differently from those of the rest of the population. But is this substantiated by other trials? Are other scientists even convinced that the condition exists?
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there