The Hound in the Left-Hand Corner, by Giles Waterfield

Stephen Bayley is delighted that someone has written the hilarious museum comedy he planned

Television: It Was 25 Years Ago Today 'Rising Damp', a landmark of TV comedy

On 2 September 1974, ITV launched a sitcom showcase series. It bore a marked resemblance to the BBC's fruitful Comedy Playhouse, in which Steptoe and Son had first appeared. And ITV's first half-hour pilot was to become as well loved.

Accidental Heroes of the 20th Century 34: Cosmo Kramer, TV Character

THERE IS a long and honourable tradition of eccentric minor characters in a sitcom becoming popular in their own right. Sometimes, in the accepted parlance, they "spin off" into their own shows. Dr Frasier Crane was originally introduced into the Eighties sitcom Cheers to give Ted Danson's Boston barman some competition in his will they/ won't they romance with Shelley Long's barmaid. Fifteen years later, Frasier is the most popular sitcom on American television. Ted Danson's and Shelley Long's careers have long since stalled.

Right of Reply: Richard Briers

The comedy actor and star of `The Good Life' replies

On Air: Mister Men behaving badly

Simon Nye is too busy writing jokes to misbehave. James Rampton talks to the saviour of the sitcom

TV history puts `Dad's Army' in firing line

WARTIME members of the Home Guard - butt of the television comedy series Dad's Army - last night angrily rejected allegations that they were incompetent and accident-prone, writes Diana Blamires.

A windswept farewell to a comic genius

HUNDREDS of mourning fans, television and showbusiness stars, and Ireland's President Mary McAleese braved lashing rain to bid final farewells to Ireland's favourite wit, Dermot Morgan, star of the Father Ted television comedy, who died after a suspected heart attack at his London home last Saturday, writes Alan Murdoch.

Forty reasons to Carry On drinking well into the New Year

Cries And Whispers

Property: Rising damp? No such thing

It is one of Britain's best-known building problems. It has inspired numerous gags and given its name to a TV comedy series. But now, it seems, rising damp may not exist at all.

Arts: The man who gave the British sitcom its finest hour `If I may be a bit pompous, we made people laugh'

Jimmy Perry once penned comedy classics like `Dad's Army' and `Hi-de-Hi!'. But he isn't writing for TV now. Why? Because times have changed, he says. It comes as quite a shock to learn that, even back in the 1960s, the BBC was in thrall to those dreaded persons with clipboards, market researchers. Even more worrying is the news that perhaps our best-loved sitcom was almost strangled at birth by them.

Tributes flow for Paul Eddington, 'a brave man and a fine actor'

The worlds of showbusiness and politics yesterday paid glowing tribute to the star of Yes, Prime Minister, Paul Eddington, who has died after a brave battle against skin cancer.

The man who is Sunday night

Two sitcoms fill peak viewing time on BBC1 tonight, and Roy Clarke writes both. Tim Minogue reports
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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015