Stephen Merchant - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
Arts and Entertainment John Oliver has now landed his own show with the premier US network HBO

Birmingham-born comic will front satirical news programme on Sunday evenings

Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis as Madmartigan and Willow in 1988 film of the same title

Willow co-stars Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis to reunite in Life's Too Short

Fans of 1988 fantasy adventure film Willow will be pleased to see the title's dwarf farmer and swordsman Madmartigan reunited on our television screens.

Dance partners: Rafe Spall, left, and Stephen Merchant play best friends in I Give It a Year

Nicholas Barber on I Give It a Year and Warm Bodies

Not much rom and very little com. What this needs is bit of zom…

Give it a miss: Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall in the patchy romcom ‘I Give It a Year’

Film review: I Give It a Year (15)

Dan Mazer's fitfully amusing but horribly contrived romantic comedy (released in time for Valentine's Day) takes the Working Title formula patented by Richard Curtis a decade or so ago and adds a bit of lads'-mag humour to the mix.

Rose Byrne arriving for the European premiere of I Give It A Year

I Give It A Year actress Rose Byrne developed fear of birds while filming

Bridesmaids actress Rose Byrne revealed she discovered she had a terrible fear of birds while filming with a live dove for her new comedy.

Someone at a Somerset school still loves Piers Morgan

Schools: Someone still loves you, Piers Morgan

In order to practise the skill of persuasive writing, Year 11 pupils at Chew Valley school in Somerset were asked in early December to write to their favourite celebrity asking for an autographed picture.

Long lost friend: Matt LeBlanc plays a version of himself in 'Episodes'

The TV stars just being themselves

A little self-parody can go a long way in an acting career, says Gerard Gilbert. Just ask Matt LeBlanc...

Long lost friend: Matt LeBlanc plays a version of himself in 'Episodes'

The TV stars who are just being themselves

A little self-parody can go a long way. Just ask Matt LeBlanc...

Josh Widdicombe

Exclusive interview with Josh Widdicombe

Sarah Marsh talks to Josh Widdicombe about gigging with Michael McIntyre, future plans and why comedians are insecure.

Can TV’s biggest names make sitcoms cool again?

As the latest Ricky Gervais mockumentary approaches, key players in TV comedy tell Gerard Gilbert why British shows lost their mass appeal and how they aim to regain it

Sandra Bullock to star in Ricky Gervais' comedy

Sandra Bullock is to appear in Ricky Gervais' new comedy series.

Emily Watson - A woman of substance who's still making waves

In her latest film, Emily Watson plays a social worker who devotes her life to helping children. The mother of two tells James Mottram why it's a role that's close to her heart

How Islington is giving the West End a run for its money

Alice Jones ventures beyond theatreland to experience the vibrant fringe where 'The King's Speech' first cleared its throat

A fresh pass from the Farrelly brothers

The kingpins of dirty comedy's comeback film aims at a mature audience, but they haven't given up on gross-out gags. Gill Pringle hears how the toilet humour titans keep the laughs coming
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
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Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week