Arts and Entertainment

Shearsmith suggests new series would be with different characters

Magnificent Bastards, By Rich Hall

Rich Hall, an American-born, Perrier award-winning comedian otherwise known as his grizzled alter ego, Otis Lee Crenshaw, shows flair for conjuring up an assortment of characters in smart, playful vignettes that are told in a tone which crosses the comic with the absurd and wry.

How We Met: Dan Clark & Noel Fielding

'I used to say, "Dan, you're so funny at a party, you've got to try to get that into your comedy"'

The Sketch: Ed the ruthless now reveals his true colours

This "human" thing Ed Miliband's supporters have identified – now we can start to see what they mean as the spotlight lingers on him. Never mind the values and aspirations, the positioning and the policies – the first and most important question is: will they warm to him in Wells and Warrington?

The Armstrong & Miller Show Live, Hippodrome, Bristol

I can't recall yet seeing a stage show derived from a TV series that has ever been a wholly satisfactory venture, though perhaps, like the pile of Armstrong & Miller merchandise on offer tonight, a live arm is deemed a necessary accoutrement to a brand, as much as it is an exercise in going back to one's original roots.

Pappy's / Idiots of Ants / The Penny Dreadfuls / The Real MacGuffins, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Sketchy collection fail to deliver a knockout

The Fringe: Still crazy after all these years

Edinburgh wouldn't be Edinburgh without the annual offerings of creative lunacy. Alice Jones celebrates some of the maddest

Fringe Notes: 16/08/2010

*Nina Conti was a curious choice of headliner for the gimmicky 'Comedy in the Dark' at the Gilded Balloon. Somehow ventriloquism with the lights off loses a little of its magic.

Lady Garden: Top Secret Gig, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Returning for their third Fringe, the all-female sketch sextet Lady Garden (featuring the daughter of Jennifer Saunders and Adrian Edmondson, Beattie Edmondson) offer another mix of the clever and the cursory without achieving the perfect blend of their talents and ideas.

Dom Joly: I am the victim of a dastardly art heist

I used to love Belgium, the nation about which General De Gaulle once snorted, "Two provinces don't make a country." So many of my passions – Tintin, Jacques Brel, frites with mayonnaise – come from there. Last week, however, my love for the Flems and Walloons was severely tested.

The Sketch: Bercow was called a 'stupid, sanctimonious dwarf'. Nobody was that suprised

Speakers always have a moment when they have to impose their will on the mob

Bremner fears joke about Islam would mean death

The political satirist Rory Bremner has claimed that the "chilling" effect of fundamentalism means that every time he writes a sketch about Islam he fears that he is signing his own death warrant.

Album: The Divine Comedy, Bang Goes The Knighthood (DCR)

Unstrapping his shin pads after last year's success with The Duckworth Lewis Method, Neil Hannon returns to his main day-job with Bang Goes The Knighthood, an album on which the cast of familiar Divine Comedy characters are targeted with his usual precision and urbanity.

BBC Trust apologises over Frankie Boyle's Jew joke

The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee (ESC) has apologised over a joke made by Frankie Boyle which compared Palestine with a cake being "punched to pieces by a very angry Jew".

Broad comedy: A new wave of funny women

Forget French and Saunders. There's a new wave of funny women hitting British television screens. Gerard Gilbert introduces the best of the next generation

Between the Assassinations, By Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga wrote these stories before his 2008 Booker-winning novel The White Tiger, and they contain in miniature those themes which are his forte: corruption and injustice; the gulf between the rich and the poor; and portraiture of a cross-section of society. They are set in the fictional town of Kittur, a microcosm of India, between two key historical events: the assassinations of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and her son Rajiv in 1991.

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Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests