Arts and Entertainment Tamsin Greig as Varia and Iain Glen as Kolia in Anton Chekhov's Longing directed by Nina Raine at Hampstead Theatre in London

Chekhov is amongst that very rare breed of author who is a genius in two distinct forms – the play and the short story. Michael Frayn, not un-incidentally a fine translator of Chekhov, is another such.

The Weekend's Viewing: Me and Mrs Jones, Fri, BBC1
Friday Night Dinner, Fri, Channel 4

It's an odd thing, comic exaggeration – absolutely essential to comedy but also potentially lethal if you get the dose wrong.

Joe Penhall's new play, Birthday, will open at the Royal Court a record-breaking six months after his last new play, Haunted Child, opened at the theatre
Nominee: Hugh Bonneville

The kings – and undisputed queen – of British comedy are...

Miranda Hart is set to consolidate her position as one of the biggest comedy stars in Britain after scooping four nominations at the British Comedy Awards.

Jumpy, Royal Court, London

Painfully funny portrayal of a woman on the verge of a breakdown

Green TV star joins race to unseat Sarkozy in 2012

A popular television environmentalist, Nicolas Hulot, has joined the rush of candidates for next year's presidential election – further complicating Nicolas Sarkozy's route to winning a second term.

DVD: Episodes: Series One (15)

The latest sitcom from Friends co-creator David Crane stars Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig as a British couple who write a hit BBC TV show. They move to LA to recreate their sitcom for a US audience, but realise the studio execs have no intention of sticking to their original concept. Enter the great Matt LeBlanc (Friends' Joey), playing a caricature of himself, who is horribly miscast as the show's protagonist, much to Mangan and Greig's vexation. Frequent laugh-out-loud moments and a host of endearingly awful characters make this series feel like a very promising start, but Americanised one-liners fail to capitalise on Mangan and Greig's distinctly British delivery.

Episodes, BBC2, Monday<br/>Zen, BBC1, Sunday<br/>Human Planet, BBC1, Thursday

It's a comedy about a comedy with precious little comedy &ndash; but just maybe, the joke's on us

Last Night's TV - Episodes, BBC2; Shameless, Channel 4; Baking Made Easy, BBC2

Atlantic crossing's not that smooth

Episodes: The one where Matt LeBlanc plays himself...

Matt LeBlanc became a hermit after Friends and Joey &ndash; but the chance to send himself up in a new sitcom was irresistible, he tells James Rampton

C4's Inbetweeners plan their final act

Having discovered comedy gold in the shape of one of the funniest series to hit the small screen in the past decade, Channel 4 has had to face an unpalatable truth: inbetweeners do not stay inbetweeners forever.

Culture Club: Tamara Drewe (15)

Readers review this week's film

Tamara Drewe, Stephen Frears, 111 mins, (15)<br/>Cyrus, Jay and Mark Duplass, 91 mins, (15)

A quintessentially British tale of passion and folly &ndash; with a touch of darkness too

Tamara Drewe (15)

A crackling pocketful of Posy
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Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition