Sherlock series three: Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes

Sherlock fans treated to behind-the-scenes video ahead of third series

Cast and crew offer some hints as to what viewers can expect

How is the New Year celebrated in your culture?

In Japan, New Year's Eve itself is called oh-misoka, and is a day to spend quietly at home for most people. It is not a day for fireworks at all in Japan (fireworks are reserved for summertime). You reflect on the old year, watch some year-ending entertainment programmes on TV such as Kohaku Uta Gassen (a long-running singing contest show), and perhaps go to the local temple at midnight, while hearing the 108 rings of the bell to ring away the evils of the old year. People looking for a party on New Year's Eve are often disappointed.

Jack Whitehall and Gemma Chan attend the British Comedy Awards

British Comedy Awards 2013 winners: List in full

Jack Whitehall was crowned King of Comedy at the ceremony in London

Chris Ramsey: The stand-up and 'Hebburn' actor talks failed one-liners, being thrown off TV and his tidying fetish

I can't do one-liners to save my life FHM asked me to do some for an issue. But some were libellous and some too rude to use, so the rubbish ones made it through. One guy tweeted me. "I've just read your jokes in FHM; I've read better on the back of a Penguin wrapper." And that's why my stand-up is all about personal stories and anecdotes.

John Oliver has now landed his own show with the premier US network HBO

John Oliver: From 'The Daily Show' to his own show

British presenter lands his own weekly comedy series on HBO

Stand-ups are made for sitcom? Don’t make me laugh

While I am a fan of Alan Carr’s stand-up work, it was a relief to hear that he had shelved plans to write and star in his own sitcom. It was due to centre on a professional dog walker but he abandoned it after discovering that Getting On duo Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan had got to the idea first with Puppy Love, their new series for BBC4.

Armando Iannucci puts The Thick of It to bed as Washington comedy Veep apes US government shutdown

Viewers are used to Whitehall scandals which appear to have been lifted from The Thick Of It. Now Armando Iannucci has repeated the trick with Veep, his Washington comedy, which returns with an episode depicting the catastrophic results of a US federal government shutdown.

Eileen Brennan's character famously makes Goldie Hawn clean the toilet with her toothbrush in 1980 film Private Benjamin.

Private Benjamin star Eileen Brennan dies of bladder cancer

The actress best known for her Oscar-nominated role as Goldie Hawn’s tormentor in 1980 comedy Private Benjamin has died aged 80.

ITV snaps up Shaun of the Dead production company Big Talk

The film production company behind Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End has been snapped up by ITV for £12.5 million.

The 'Not the Nine O'Clock News's team (left to right), Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, and Griff Rhys Jones carrying Pamela Stephenson in 1980

Mel Smith, the man who made me howl with laughter

As so many people have said, Mel Smith, who has died at the age of 60, was a comedy giant. And his talent was evident – obvious – when I first saw him 40 years ago. I was then trying to make my way in comedy at Cambridge, and he, then president of the slightly loftier Oxford University Dramatic Society, had agreed to take part, rather to amuse himself, I suspect. He was by a mile the best thing in it. Clever, and very, very funny, as he always was subsequently.

Michael Adebolajo, taking part in an Islamist demonstration in 2007

Five members of prison staff suspended following Woolwich suspect injury

Michael Adebolajo lost two teeth in what the Prison Officer Association described as 'necessary restraint'

<p><b>The Simpsons v Family Guy</b></p>
<p>Homer Simpson and his dysfunctional family have been on the world's TV screens for 20 hugely influential years. Some say they have been too influential on Seth MacFarlane's 'Family Guy'. 'Simpsons' writers are said to dislike the show, which has copied its premise and many plots from its yellow cousins, and now both shows lampoon each other. 'Simpsons' creator Matt Groening and MacFarlane have expressed mutual admiration, however. </p>

Crash course: Small-screen politics

TIMELINE

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peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
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Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
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Robyn Lawley
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Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
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Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
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Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
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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
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star