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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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
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Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
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Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

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