Arts and Entertainment Virgin territory: scenes from Louis C.K.’s 1998 debut film, ‘Tomorrow Night’, with Steve Carell

Long before Anchorman and the American Office, Steve Carell played Mail Room Guy without Glasses. And long before Parks and Recreation and the Golden Globes, Amy Poehler was Woman Sprayed with Hose. Now superstars of comedy with Hollywood at their feet, both had their first, minor film roles in Tomorrow Night, alongside another comedy titan of the future, Louis C.K.

Handsome, talented and anti-establishment: It's not hard to see why Russell Brand is good with women

He's someone who can be as close to the knuckle as possible, while having the popular appeal to fill enormous auditoriums and amass a huge fortune

The Russell Brand effect: the mystery explained

Putting to one side for a second that Brand is extremely clever and funny, why do women find this scruffy, skinny, messy-haired effeminate so irresistible?

Barking in Essex at Wyndham's Theatre: Sheila Hancock as Emmie, Lee Evans as Darnley, Keeley Hawes as Chrissie

Theatre review: Barking In Essex is a crude, relentless mockery of stupidity and materialism

Sheila Hancock, Lee Evans and Keeley Hawes star in Clive Exton's ill-judged black farce

Paul Gascoigne is among those to have used the clinic

Peter Kay, co-founder of the Sporting Chance Clinic which has helped names such as Paul Gascoigne and Paul Merson, has died

Kay helped set-up the clinic for sport stars to seek help alongside former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams in 2000

Billy Connolly opts for a smart moustache and beard combination

Billy Connolly diagnosed with Parkinson's: The thing about the disease is that everyone is different

Parkinson's disease has become an essential part of who I am

Rachel De-lahay interview: "People risk anything to get here"

Would-be migrants made her think about how much it means to live in Britain, and inspired her new play. Rachel De-lahay talks to Fiona Mountford about discrimination, jealousy, and making ends meet

Tottenham fans in Lazio were on the end of racial abuse from areas of the home side's fans

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas supports Football Association campaign to try and rid the sport of the word 'Yid'

Spurs boss has back his club's stance over the subject although he admits it is difficult for home fans who have adopted it as their own in defence

Daniel Kitson now commands an impassioned following around the world

Comedy review: Daniel Kitson, Tree, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

When Daniel Kitson gave the Latitude Festival audience a tantalising glimpse of his new show this summer it was still very much a sapling. Two months later and Tree has put on branches and leaves, emerging into the gloom of a drizzly autumnal Manchester night as a mighty oak.

The CERN is also home to the Large Hadron Collider tunnel; seen here is a model of the LHC in the visitor centre

Book review: I Laughed, I Cried, By Viv Groskop

Who'd want to be a stand-up comic? Well, nearly everyone nowadays. What used to be an eccentric calling has become a huge business. Comedians are on chat shows, panel shows, even Question Time. Stand-up used to be a trade for misfits. Today it's a career plan.

The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast

Other contenders for the prize include the pubic louse and the pig-nosed turtle

Bridget Christie

Can we now stop asking if women are as funny as men?

Bridget Christie won this year's Foster's Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe

Joe Thomas, Simon Bird and Johnny Sweet make their stand in Chickens

TV review: Chickens - We’re the only men in the village...

A First World War sitcom may prove to be a slow burner, but the nation’s cakes are rising nicely

London comic Chris Coltrane held up a photo of Putin’s naked torso and joked that if the Russian President wanted to stop the promotion of homosexuality 'maybe he should stop posing for photos like this'

Edinburgh Fringe performers stage 'comedy protest' against Russian homosexuality laws outside consulate in Scotland

Semi-naked photos of Vladimir Putin and a blast of Tchaikovsky played on an iPad formed parts of comedy protest against homophobia in Russia, staged outside the Russian Consulate General in Edinburgh today.

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.

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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
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
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home