Voices
 

This week we’ve seen the best and worst sides of drunken excesses. What have we learnt? Just like in life: llamas good, racism bad.

How I Escaped My Certain Fate, By Stewart Lee

Books Of The Year: It's the book of the DVD of the show...and it's great

Jerry Sadowitz: Comedian, Magician, Pyschopath!, Leicester Square Theatre, London (3/5)

Ricky Gervais reminded us recently, as if we'd forgotten, that language can still offend en masse if its use is misjudged.

Marc Maron: Live from the comedy garage

In a spider-ridden Los Angeles garage, surrounded by half-read self-help books and the whiff of stale cat's-pee, a stand-up comedian called Marc Maron has for the past two years been taking listeners on a twice-weekly journey behind the red velvet curtains of his profession.

Paris Hilton and Lady Gaga: They're both Catholics but that's about the only thing which the socialite heiress Paris Hilton and a young Lady Gaga had in common when they were thrust into school together in New York

After McMullan & Gove... other unlikely classmates

One of the more unusual snippets of information from the Leveson Inquiry has been that NOTW whistleblower Paul McMullan and Michael Gove were at college together...

Deadpan: In his 'passive-aggressive', middle-aged and bitter way, Stewart Lee brilliantly deconstructs and savages other comedians' techniques

Stewart Lee, Leicester Square Theatre, London

Have you heard the one about the oh-so-clever comedian who sends up, er, comedy?

Tom Rosenthal: Child of Privilege, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

With starring roles in Channel 4's Friday Night Dinner ("You must have seen it, why else would you be here?") and in the Royal Court's production of Chicken Soup With Barley under his belt, Tom Rosenthal, 23, is a young man experiencing a purple patch.

Richard Herring: What Is Love Anyway?, Udderbelly's Pasture, Edinburgh

At the end of his Fringe show Christ on a Bike last year, Richard Herring usurped the atheism of the majority of his audience when he asked them if they believed in one true love. That concluding flourish in turn has laid the foundation for this discourse, one that has a simple mission; "to destroy love".

How I Escaped my Certain Fate, By Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee gave up stand-up comedy in 2001 after deciding that his material was "arch, cynical, tired, fake, conceited, formulaic and flat". He threw his energies into co-writing and directing Jerry Springer: the Opera, which earned him an Olivier Award, opprobrium and no money. In 2004, he began his comeback as an "alternative" comedian, and this book is the story of that comeback.

McIntyre hurt by 'nasty' remarks of fellow comics on awards night

The comedian Michael McIntyre has told how a career-capping night of triumph descended into "nastiness" that left him feeling wretched at an awards event in January.

Geordie Shore, MTV UK, Tuesday<br/>Wonderland: The Men Who Won't Stop Marching, BBC2, Wednesday<br/>Stewart Lee, BBC2, Wednesday<br/>Scott &amp; Bailey, ITV1, Sunday

The perma-tans and naked fumblings on view in 'Geordie Shore' make 'Big Brother' look high brow

Abbey will be a satire-free zone - by royal decree

Broadcasters' contracts forbid use of footage for 'satirical or comedy' programmes

The Reading List: Stand-up comedy

Last week UK comics voted Daniel Kitson the funniest man in Britain. But what books should budding stand-ups not put down?

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable