Arts and Entertainment On the cutting edge: Johnny Vegas, from the Face of Satire exhibition at the BFI

On 26 February, Spitting Image will celebrate its 30 birthday. BBC Four will mark the occasion with a special episode of Arena which promises to tell the “vexed and frequently hilarious story” of the sketch show which ran for 21 series between 1984 and 1996 and marked a high point in British satire.

Fortune was at his best in the Long Johns' sketches that poked fun at authority

John Fortune: Comedian and author best known for collaborations and sketches that poked fun at the powerful and self-important

John Fortune was the comedian and satirist best known for his work on the long-running television comedy series Bremner, Bird and Fortune, together with fellow comics Rory Bremner and John Bird, that ran for 16 series from 1999 to 2010.

John Fortune (right) with John Bird after they received their 1997 Bafta awards for Best Light Entertainment Performance

Farewell to the satirist whose comedy exposed uncomfortable truths: Bafta-winning comedian John Fortune dies aged 74

Not fame but curiosity drove Fortune to the peak of political satire

David Blunkett thinks shows that mock politicians should be subject to tougher libel scrutiny

'We need to watch that': David Blunkett calls for satirical TV shows such as Mock the Week to be reclassified as 'current affairs'

Programmes that mock politicians cross the line from satire to comment, he says

Facebook and Twitter top twenty: The Independent stories you've been sharing this year

From drunken nights out with a llama to testicle-eating fishes, it’s a mixed bag of stories you’ve been sharing on social media in 2013.

Among the top twenty Independent articles you’ve been tweeting and posting on Facebook this year, there are serious reports, ferocious comment pieces, astounding research and a fair few articles that pay tribute to the adage ‘the truth is stranger than fiction.’

Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile

An entire class of children was evacuated from a swimming pool after a prosthetic leg was mistaken for a paedophile.

This illustration from ‘The Eventful Voyage of HM Discovery Ship 'Resolute' to the Arctic Regions’ is one of a million-plus British Library images that have just been made available on the internet

Historic images brought into 21st century after being posted on Flickr by British Library

More than a million pictures have been scanned from texts published in the 17th to the 19th centuries

Crazy Rich Asians, By Kevin Kwan: Book review

Superficial but fun, this satire describes life for Chinese old money and nouveaux

Scarlett Strallen as Cunegonde in Candide at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Candide: Theatre review - 'At once spine-tingling and spiritually unearned'

Menier Chocolate Factory, London

Books of the year 2013: Poetry

The Selected Poems of Robert Graves (1895-1985) (Faber, £15.99), edited by Michael Longley, is a superb re-introduction to a vastly influential poet who has become almost a secret to the young. War poet, lover, servant of the pitiless muse, comedian – Robert Graves was all these, and blessed with the finest poetic ear of his time.

Andrew Marr, pictured here in his first appearance at a public event since he suffered a stroke, has said he wishes he had gone to art school instead of pursuing a journalism career

BBC’s Andrew Marr says ‘I regret going into journalism’

Successful presenter, writer and political commentator says he wishes he’d gone to art school instead – but has also signed a deal to write his first novel

Armando Iannucci puts The Thick of It to bed as Washington comedy Veep apes US government shutdown

Viewers are used to Whitehall scandals which appear to have been lifted from The Thick Of It. Now Armando Iannucci has repeated the trick with Veep, his Washington comedy, which returns with an episode depicting the catastrophic results of a US federal government shutdown.

Wallis, as Aldous Hooper, a dentist torn between two women, with Sharon Mughan in Yorkshire TV's 'Huggy Bear' in 1976

Bill Wallis: Actor who bloomed in the golden age of British satire

His diverse career took in ‘Beyond The Fringe’, Brecht, ‘Blackadder’ and Shakespeare

Review: Expo 58, By Jonathan Coe

back to the future, only in Belgium

Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Review: Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The New Theatre, Dublin

There are two kinds of classic: those whose themes are so universal they speak to every age, and those which are a canvas on which any age can write its own story. Accidental Death of an Anarchist is the latter.

Film review: Pain & Gain (15)

To call this the best movie of Michael Bay's career is to measure it against a pretty dire charge-sheet: Bad Boys, Pearl Harbor and the Transformers trilogy are enough to damn him to the Hades of Hollywood (quite a full membership). In Pain & Gain, he at least tries something different, a freakish black comedy based on a Miami Times reporter's true crime story from 1994-95.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
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
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum