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

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