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.

Web satires trigger Tory ads rethink

Online spoofs featuring defaced poster cast doubt on shape of future campaigns

Burlesque Undressed (15)

This perfectly pleasant celebration of burlesque would look better as a late-night documentary on E4; on the big screen its impact feels rather lost.

Leading article: Public image

They're offensive, insulting, bullying, coarse and unkind. They're rude, scabrous, scatological and obscene. But the works of James Gillray are also some of the funniest and finest cartoons ever made.

Killing Auntie, By Andrzej Bursa

From the admirable CB Editions comes a delightful discovery. Dead at 25 in 1957, the Polish postwar firebrand Andrzej Bursa acquired a reputation as a quick-burning, existentially tormented rebel: a literary James Dean of the Stalinist era.

DVD: Brüno

Watching Sacha Baron Cohen disguised as a camp Austrian fashion guru, the viewer can snort with laughter, gawp in disbelief at the rudeness,marvel at the star's physicalcomedy and death defying bravery ... and still end up being disappointed that it wasn'tdone better. The reasonis, simply, that it was donebetter, three years ago,when it was called Borat.Brüno copies Boratalmost scene for scene,repeating a once-winningformula without thefreshness or inspiration.

The Invention of Lying, Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson, 99 mins, (12A)

Ricky Gervais's satire of America has a clever concept – only one person in the world is capable of lying – but its edge is blunted by too many soft touches as it drifts towards romcom

How the Dead Dream, By Lydia Millet

Lydia Millet is a writer drawn to oddballs and obsessives, but even when her characters verge on the cartoonish, they remain engaging.

The Conclave, By Michael Bracewell

Capuchin has quietly built up a stylish, distinctive reprint list that takes in both fixtures from the canon (Swift to Tolstoy) and under-appreciated gems from more recent decades.

Brüno is threatened for ridiculing terrorist group

Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of Ali G and Borat, has stepped up his personal security after a Palestinian militia group issued a veiled threat over its portrayal in his latest film, Brüno. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades said it was "very upset" about a scene in which Baron Cohen, playing a gay Austrian fashion reporter, ridicules Ayman Abu Aita, a man identified as the terror group's leader.

Johann Hari: Stop all this Brüno-bashing

The joke isn't on gay people; it's on bigots who believe he is real and typical of gays

The Fire Gospel, By Michel Faber

In writing this playful noir thriller-cum- The Da Vinci Code pastiche, the versatile Faber shows he can pen an off-the-cuff satire, when needed.

Toby Young: How Brüno creates his buzz

Is there anyone better at creating buzz around his own movies than Sacha Baron Cohen? He did a good job of publicising Borat three years ago, but it was nothing compared to his efforts to promote Brüno. His surprise appearance at the MTV Awards earlier this month was watched by 100 million people – and countless more on YouTube.

'Brüno' too hot to handle for film censors

Film company protests after Baron Cohen film is given 18 certificate

First Night: Brüno, Empire, Leicester Square

Out of Austria: Brüno storms London

US gay lobby doesn't get the 'Bruno' joke

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen – creator of Ali G and Borat – has found a new constituency to offend with his latest movie satire
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape