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.

Hattie Morahan is instantly enthralling in 'A Doll's House'

A Doll's House, Young Vic, London
Dandy Dick, Richmond Theatre, London
St John's Night, Jermyn Street Theatre, London

Ibsen's marital drama still feels palpably radical in an imaginatively staged production

There But For The, by Ali Smith

Where Smith's previous novel, The Accidental, saw a charismatic chancer barging her way into the affections of a middle-class family, here, a guest at a dinner party quite literally barges his way into a family home by excusing himself during desert and barricading himself into their upstairs en suite room.

Tara Lynne Barr is mesmerising as Roxy in this cheerfully vicious satire

God Bless America, Bobcat Goldthwait, 104 mins (15)

A middle-aged man and a crazed teen wade through the shallows of modern America

Jonathan Church on his strategy, borrowed from Olivier: 'You choose three for the audience and one for yourself'

The irresistible rise of Jonathan Church

Fiona Mountford on the man who's transformed the fortunes of Chichester Festival Theatre

Simon Day, ex of 'The Fast Show', makes his audiences laugh - and shudder

The Simon Day Show, Radio 4, Thursday
A Straight Question, Radio 4, Wednesday
Saturday Classics, Radio 3, Saturday

Welcome back, Mr Day. It's never less than a bracing ride

The New Republic, By Lionel Shriver

We need to talk about terror

The Day is Dark, By Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Reykjavik lawyer and under-age granny, Thora Gudmundsdottir, isn't usually fazed by the dark. But finding herself in remotest Greenland, investigating the disappearance of mining company employees, she finds herself listening out for unexplained creaks.

Sacha Baron Cohen: UN was scared of my 'dictator'

An unmasked Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed that the United Nations barred him from shooting The Dictator at its New York headquarters because his comic portrayal of a Middle East tyrant would embarrass the heads of member states.

Tyrant: Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley star in the comedy ‘The Dictator’

The Dictator: Satire doesn't quite hit despot

The first laugh comes before the film has even started. "In loving memory of Kim Jong-il" reads the dedication title. It pretty much sets the tone for The Dictator, a broad, hit-and-miss satire about an Arab tyrant's indulgence of his capricious – and murderous – will.

The Dictator, 83 mins (15)

It doesn't quite hit despot...

Stars of Moonrise Kingdom, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray

Cannes opens with Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom

The sunbaked Cannes Film Festival got under way with Wes Anderson's “Moonrise Kingdom,” whose carefully composed whimsy stood in stark contrast to the zoo-like atmosphere at the annual French Riviera extravaganza.

General Aladeen, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, will grace our cinema screens this week in The Dictator

General alert: From Staines to Wadiya, I is da man!

North African despot General Aladeen hates the West and is just weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade plutonium. No laughing matter - unless you're a Sacha Baron Cohen fan

You might die laughing – Sacha Baron Cohen's Dictator stages comedy coup

Sacha Baron Cohen brought guns, girls and the expected dose of controversy to the red carpet

Terence Blacker: I can't see much 'class' in Pippa Middleton

There is, sad to report, a new reason for national embarrassment. Unusually, it has nothing to do with Jeremy Clarkson, Julian Fellowes or Simon Cowell; indeed, unlike those Britons, this source of shame can be relied upon never to say anything controversial. Time magazine has just announced its annual Time 100 list of the world's most influential people. No British politicians appeared on the list, but the Middleton sisters – one a new princess, the other the sister of a new princess – are included, heralded as "avatars of aspiration".

Sacha Baron Cohen as his alter ego Borat

Kazakh champion's golden moment is tarnished ... by a rendition of Borat's anthem

Spoof from Baron Cohen's film played by mistake at medal ceremony

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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album