Arts and Entertainment

Shearsmith suggests new series would be with different characters

JB Shorts 10, Joshua Brooks, Manchester: Theatre review

This twice-yearly festival of short plays for the theatre – by writers who make their living from television soaps and dramas – is now in its tenth incarnation and gets better and better. JB Shorts is named after the Joshua Brooks pub across the road from the old BBC headquarters in Manchester which produced much of seminal radio drama of the last century. There must be something in the air there.

The five remaining members of Monty Python are expected to announce a comeback on Thursday

Monty Python reunion tickets sell out in 43 seconds as group announce four new shows

The group have announced four more shows following their sell-out gig

The five remaining members of Monty Python

Monty Python reunion: Dead parrot lives – but artificial hips put paid to silly walks

Ageing comics promise new material for O2 show - and did not rule out the possibility of future performances

The five remaining members of Monty Python are expected to announce a comeback on Thursday

Monty Python team show, old surrealists never die like... they just make comebacks

Next to today’s sketch troupes, Python is not looking so strange

Miley Cyrus angers health support charity after saying she sticks out her tongue because she 'keeps having mini-strokes'

The singer's latest controversial comments have now come to the attention of the UK's Stroke Association

Page 3 Profile: Cilla Black, entertainer

Surprise, surprise!

David Mitchell, left, is a team captain on 'Would I Lie To You?'

Peep Show star David Mitchell defends panel shows after attack by Fast Show co-creator Charlie Higson

Panel show regular answers criticism that format crowds out sketch shows

Video: Bret McKenzie

Watch the videos below to see recent projects from the comedian, actor and musician Bret McKenzie, including his latest film ‘Austenland’

A screengrab from the 'Distinct Lines' video on YouTube

Feminist parody of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines removed from YouTube

New Zealand law students had gained 300,000 views since Friday

In a class of their own: David Walliams and Catherine Tate in 'Big School'

Grace Dent on TV: Big School, Channel 4

Today's lesson - how to produce a pleasurable comedy that passes the perils-of-primetime test

Bridget Christie – 'A Bic for Her'

Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Awards stand up for stand-up

Stand-up has returned to dominate Edinburgh’s showcase comedy awards after a big year for mime in 2012, with one shortlisted comedian even bringing back mother-in-law jokes.

Oscar-nominated American actress and singer / songwriter Elizabeth McGovern, star of Downton Abbey

My Edinburgh: Elizabeth McGovern - Goodbye, Lady Cora, I'm all ready to rock the festival

On Saturday morning, one day after wrapping Season Four of Downton Abbey, I gently laid Lady Cora down, and put her  to bed for a while. (In a lovely Four Poster, His Lordship, securely by her side). I then packed my bags, and headed  to Edinburgh to perform with my  band "Sadie and The Hotheads". We have played with each other, on and off, for a decade, but this is the first time we have performed at the Fringe festival.

Liam Williams

Edinburgh 2013: Liam Williams - A comedian of existential introspection

If the hero of John Osborne's Look Back In Anger, Jimmy Porter, had ever performed stand-up, he'd look and sound a bit like Liam Williams. Similarly deracinated and disillusioned, Williams sets out to extricate himself from the restrictions of a lower middle class upbringing and thereby express his dissatisfaction with the world as a whole.

Andrew Maxwell finds independence a laughing matter

Edinburgh comedy review: Andrew Maxwell's Banana Kingdom - Alex Salmond, and the funny side of medieval theology

A year before the referendum,  Andrew Maxwell deserves credit for doing material about Scottish independence, not least because he’s a London-based Irishman whose jokes could easily divide the room. But such is his skill, charm and Banana Kingdom’s faultless construction that he takes the crowd with him.

'30 Rock' star, Tina Fey

Tina Fey to produce new 'Cheers-style' comedy after 30 Rock ends

Tina Fey is planning a new comedy series after 30 Rock -  but the comedian has decided her next role will be behind-the-scenes.

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'