Arts and Entertainment

Shearsmith suggests new series would be with different characters

The Emperor's New Clothes (03/02/13)

The dead parrot! Mrs Sartre!! How did we manage before 'Monty Python'? Very well indeed...

Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle, Soho Theatre, London

Comedian-turned-author, turned-comedian again, Alexei Sayle was rather hoarse for his first proper standup show in seventeen years.

Television choices: New Yorker CK enjoys the sweet smell of success

TV pick of the week: Louie

Amy Poehler was great success on Golden Globes - but who is she?

Tina Fey and Poehler replaced Ricky Gervais as this year's hosts. But unlike Fey, her blond counterpart is relatively unknown this side of the pond

Miranda Hart replaces Alan Car as presenter of Chatty Man for Channel 4's Mash Up

Comedy actress Miranda Hart seems to be going on a new year health kick - and then undoing it with a cheeky tipple.

The foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) has new challenges ahead in the new series

Malcolm Tucker and the The Thick of It triumph at the British Comedy Awards

Peter Capaldi and Rebecca Front won best actor and actress gongs for their efforts in Armando Iannucci's Shadow Cabinet

John Lloyd: When the laughing has to stop

Not The Nine O'Clock News once announced on air that the TV picture of anyone without a TV licence would go black. It did so, then a phone number appeared and a voiceover invited culprits to call the Director-General and explain themselves. From that moment the phone in our production office started ringing. Stifling our laughter, each of us in turn fielded calls from frantic viewers promising to pay up. After 40 years in entertainment, I believe making people laugh is "a Good Thing". But – like power, money, science and religion – comedy is a powerful tool that can be used for good or ill. And, on rare occasions, it can be lethal.

Jacintha Saldanha, Kate Middleton, and how prank calls show comedy can be used for both good and ill

From Hogarth to Chris Morris, there is a long tradition in Britain of setting out to make people look foolish. Within that tradition, prank calls are the new lowest form of wit

Thinking of Ewe: Prime Minister David Cameron's drawing goes under the hammer

A signed doodle by Prime Minister David Cameron is going under the hammer for schemes run by the Cornwall-based Eden Project.

Picture of health: Helena Bonham Carter as a bonny Miss Havisham

IoS film review 2: Great Expectations
Sightseers
The Hunt

Mike Newell's 'Great Expectations' crams in the detail, but blink and you'll miss the drama

Heroines and Harridans: A Fanfare of Fabulous Females, By Sandi Toksvig

Wild women remembered with a smile

Glee for comedy-goers after Corden’s quick Cardiff turn

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

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General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

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Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

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The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

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Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

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Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

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Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat