- ‘It’s easier to make people laugh than it is to make them cry... People laugh at anything.’ Ricky Gervais
- Good Life star Richard Briers has revealed that he has emphysema – the result of smoking 500,00 cigarettes. ‘I’m buggered,’ he said with a matter-of-fact cheeriness. ‘It’s totally my fault.’ He was diagnosed five years ago. There’s a touching story about him and friend Prunella Scales, whose memory is deteriorating, in the Daily Mail today.
- Meanwhile today’s Daily Star screams ‘Ross & Brand in telly SEX shame’ all across its front page. What the shame – or indeed the story – is remains unclear. The extent of it seems to be Russell Brand’s appearance on the Jonathan Ross show tomorrow night, when he says: ‘Can we just talk a while about how everyone from the 70s was a nonce? What’s fucking going on? I was sat there watching telly and everyone’s a nonce.’
- Sharon Horgan tweets: ‘When you catch your 9 yr old watching Flight Of The Conchords on Youtube unprompted you can congratulate yourself on your parenting.’
- Dawn French is to replace Martin Clunes as the face of Churchill Insurance. The company’s marketing director Amanda Walker said: ‘The chemistry between Churchill and Dawn is brilliant’ – perhaps momentarily forgetting Churchill is a puppet bulldog who says little more than ‘oh, no’ in the voice of Deryck Guyler. Churchill dropped Clunes as the face of its ads in November after he was banned from driving for speeding.
- Comic Boothby Graffoe has revealed what he wants written on his tombstone: ‘He was better live.’
- Stand-up Dan Antopolski is asking kids to face their worst nightmares and betray their siblings’ darkest fears. But only for his role as The Dare Devil, the eponymous star of a new CBBC gameshow, beginning on February 11. Contestants were asked to suggest the people, places and foods that make them go ‘eurggh!’, the most embarrassing thing to happen to them and the family members they want to face the horrible challenges with them. Playing such a Devil is quite the turnaround for Antopolski... since he previously played Jesus Christ in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
- Comic Relief officially launched this year’s Red Nose Day yesterday. But what’s now a vast and slick charity operation wasn’t always so well organised, as Emma Freud told the Radio Times. When Rik Mayall went on Wogan in 1986 to publicise the first Comic Relief single – Living Doll by Cliff and The Young Ones – he rushed over to Richard Curtis and whispered in a panic: 'Quick, remind me, which is the country where they're starving?'
- Sarah Silverman’s brother-in-law Yosef Abramowitz is a solar energy pioneer also known as Captain Sunshine.
- Tweets of the week
Ian McMillan (@IMcMillan): He was a very bad high jumper. Couldn't even clear his throat.
Nick Motown (@NickMotown): My favourite episode of Neighbours was the one where Bouncer wouldn't let Scott in because he was wearing trainers.
Col (@ Bigshirtlesscol ): Mahatma Gandhi had very bad feet, very bad health and bad teeth. So he was a super calloused fragile mystic cursed with halitosis.