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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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?