Arts and Entertainment

Shearsmith suggests new series would be with different characters

Domestic, Brighton Festival

Strange things are happening in The Basement, Brighton’s buzzy home for avant-garde theatre.

Grace Dent on Television: The Hoarder Next Door, Channel 4

Nigel is encouraged to tidy in a frock. It doesn't solve much, but we get to have a gawp

Sheeps

Observations: Sheep(s) draw an admiring flock to the West End

Sheeps have come up with a novel way to make sure that the atmosphere doesn't dip during their new comedy show. They've prepared a little call-and-response routine, asking the audience to shout out encouragement– "Keep going, Sheeps!" – at key intervals.

Megalyn Echikunwoke, far left, with Carrie MacLemore, Greta Gerwig and Analeigh Tipton

Damsels in Distress, Whit Stillman, 99 mins (15)

These women talk in Wildean epigrams and want you to tap dance, yet you may well end up pals

Cate Blanchett plays a lonely graphic designer on 'Big and Small' play at the Barbican theatre

First Night: Big and Small (Gross und Klein), Barbican, London

Magnificent Blanchett draws in the crowds

Paul Merton: Out of My Head, Richmond Theatre

A leading light in British comedy and one of the most-proven funnymen on the planet, Paul Merton is back with his first UK solo tour since 1999, but Out Of My Head is far from the quality you might expect, being weak virtually from start to finish.

Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith star in 'Horrible Histories' on CBBC

Horrible Histories: CBBC meets Royston Vasey

At their most grotesque, they possessed imagination dark enough to spew forth the village of Royston Vasey – a place populated by pen-obsessed sadists, an incestuous "local" couple and a magical man who swanned around in black-face, abducting innocent women from their homes. Now, after 10 years, the League of Gentlemen are back ... on a children's TV show.

Appropriate Adults scoops two Royal Television Society awards

Appropriate Adults Dominic West and Emily Watson have each carried off a Royal Television Society award for their performances in the drama about the killer Fred West.

Shelina Permalloo was crowned the winner of MasterChef

MasterChef lacked one ingredient: suspense

You have to have a big appetite for superlatives if you're to consume an entire MasterChef final.

The Weekend's Viewing: Orbit: Earth's Extraordinary Journey, Sun, BBC2
The Secrets of Everything, Sun, BBC3

The Fast Show predicted the current state of BBC popular science nearly 20 years ago with a sketch that featured an excitable young man with a Northern accent striding through a landscape while enthusing ceaselessly about everything he could see around him.

Ronnie Corbett: I'll treasure my CBE

Comedian Ronnie Corbett spoke of his delight at receiving the CBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace today.

Off the wall: Adam Riches

Riches is on the money

Adam Riches won the Edinburgh Comedy Award. As his crowd-baiting act opens in London, he tells Alice Jones how he picks his victims

Off the wall: Adam Riches

Adam Riches: A comedian who strikes fear into his audience

Adam Riches won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for his crowd-baiting show. As it comes to London, he explains how he selects his victims

In a plot borrowed from The Blues Brothers, Kermit leads a Muppet comeback for a one-off charity show to save the Muppet Theatre

The Muppets, James Bobin, 109 mins (U)
The Woman in Black, James Watkins, 95 mins (12A)

Where've you been Kermit? The gang are all back in a feelgood film to delight kids...and those who remember the Seventies

Brilliant! The Fast Show's quickfire comics return

Lovers of The Fast Show will be heartened to know that the release of a second batch of internet-only episodes is due next week.

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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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