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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