Stand-up has returned to dominate Edinburgh’s showcase comedy awards after a big year for mime in 2012, with one shortlisted comedian even bringing back mother-in-law jokes.
Last year James Acaster beguiled his way on to the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist with an artfully crafted study in mild lunacy. This year offers something similar, equally well-shaped, and equally kooky, but it sails so close to the wind of being inconsequential that a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the room for portions of the show.
London's Piccadilly Lights are being emblazoned with lines of poetry in a first for the world-famous landmark.
The latest Sonic adventures...
As music fans prepare to mark the anniversary of the Beatle's murder, Andrew Johnson reports on his ever-growing financial legacy
Whether it's used purely for fun, or to make a statement, getting our kit off always causes a stir. John Walsh lays bare the history of nakedness
Decent Christmas albums don't come along that often – it's ten years since Low's remarkable Christmas, while the last unqualified success, Aimee Mann's One More Drifter in the Snow, arrived in 2006 – so we should celebrate an undertaking as poised and thoughtful as Thea Gilmore's Strange Communion, the best of this year's batch of seasonal offerings.
Advancing age clearly poses less of a barrier to pop success than in previous eras, as the recent chart placings of Bob Dylan and the Beatles can confirm.
Moving eastward and backward from the Royal Academy's Byzantium show comes Babylon – or, perhaps, Babylon! – at the British Museum (020-7323 8181, 13 November-15 March). When Constantinople was a twinkle in antiquity's eye, Babylonia was already a wonder of the world; a place of ziggurats, legal codes and Hanging Gardens. If it peaked early – c. 600BC, in fact – the city-state remained dangerously attractive to invaders. The latest of these are George W Bush's troops, whose addition to Babylon's history has been to drive tanks through the remains of its 2,600-year-old Imperial Way – a woeful chapter shown alongside the tiled glories of Nebuchadnezzar. So much for progress.
Neil Aspinall, a close friend of the Beatles and the man who ran the Apple music empire, has died, his family said today.
It was a run-down building, on a street where cars are still torched. But the artist Cornelia Parker spotted an opportunity to create a fabulous home