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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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness