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.

The winning contribution could be aired at the beginning of next season's finale in May 2013

Judd Apatow script for the Simpsons to air after 22 years

The  longest-running American sitcom and the director who has moulded 21st century film comedy in his own image are to team up, as it's been reported that the Simpsons will be turning a script written by Judd Apatow, director of Knocked Up, into an episode next year.

The Thick of It cast

Tucker's no more - but the Coalition's still in the thick of it

As the BBC's political satire ends, Westminster's real-life farce carries on

Lightning Rods, By Helen DeWitt

A 'solution' for sexual harassment is one topic of this brilliant satire on 'yes-we-can' culture

Cabaret, Savoy Theatre, London

Rufus Norris's 2006 revival of this Kander & Ebb classic blew me away with its dark, fiercely energised and full-frontal vision of Weimar Berlin as a society gyrating its crotch at the edge of the abyss – at once a drug-fuelled hotbed of rampant, polymorphous perversity and a fertile seedbed for Nazism whose rise emerged in pointed conjunction with the spread of neurasthenic kinkiness.

Vladimir Putin: An exhibition in the President’s honour is called “Putin: The Most Kind-Hearted Man in the World”

Kremlin cranks up the propaganda for Putin's 60th birthday

Kremlin officials like to insist that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, does not care for big birthday bashes and that he was to spend his 60th birthday yesterday quietly celebrating with close friends and family in his home city, St Petersburg.

Zone One By Colson Whitehead

A land of opportunity for the living and walking dead

Terence Blacker: Fifty years after the satire boom, the country needs it more than ever

The Way We Live: Britain today is just as socially stratified and morally bogus as it was in 1962

Invisible Ink: No 138 - Keith Waterhouse

'A novel from the author of several previous books," said the Amazon logline about Jubb, one of Keith Waterhouse's astonishing black comedies. Was there ever a less appealing sentence?

Album: Mahler, Symphony No 1 - BFO/Fischer (Channel Classics)

Ivan Fischer's exhilarating recording of Mahler's First with the Budapest Festival Orchestra dispels the sick-room air that hung inevitably over last year's centenary commemorations.

Coalition, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

Every politician needs a soundbite. For Matt Cooper MP, it’s “This party will not be broken on my watch”. Unfortunately for him, the party in question is the Liberal Democrats and it's breaking up faster than a matchstick raft on a waterfall.

Stirring satire with a liberal dose of laughter

Every politician needs a soundbite. For Matt Cooper MP, it's "this party will not be broken on my watch". Unfortunately for him, the party in question is the Liberal Democrats and it is breaking up faster than a matchstick raft on a waterfall.

The Dinner, By Herman Koch, trans. Sam Garrett

This riveting Dutch bestseller will leave its readers feeling thrilled, chilled or cheated.

Boyd Tonkin: In the era of mass free publishing, we need taste-makers more than ever

Critical gate-keepers, editors, curators, arbiters, judges – all those sifters and assessors so abused in the pseudo-democracy of the online self-publishing age: come back, there is nothing to forgive. In fact, we could do with many more of you.

Lapel politics: Nick Clegg and David Cameron this week

Pin doctors: The art of 'lapel politics'

Forget wearing your heart on your sleeve – for today's politicos, it's all about the badge on your lapel

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee