No matter how crazy the outside world might seem to be, the sanctity of the cinema always provides a refuge. It has been much needed this past month and I expect it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. It helps that the content on screen has been strong this year too, and what initially seemed like a tricky year admissions wise, has so far offered pleasant surprises at regular intervals.
THE JUNGLE BOOK Jon Favreau / Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o / Adventure / 2016 / PG / 105mins Middle class mums everywhere ...
Russell Brand famously took his cat Morrissey with him when he moved to Los Angeles as he loved him so much. Ricky Gervais has even given his cat Ollie his own Facebook page. Does anyone call them crazy? No.
But gigless media personality Cumbo, who now has his own Vimeo series, owes more to Ricky Gervais's earlier work: it is a modern masterpiece of character comedy, a relentlessly inventive depiction of wrong-side-of-forty solitude, Brent's amiable nephew or a Vice-gen Partridge.
Social media is being overrun with petitions and protests against the Yulin dog meat festival in south-west China. It is impossible to avoid the sickening pictures of animals being burnt or skinned alive. But why should we care about animals when there are so many atrocities happening around the world?
The only difference between the cruelty in the mass puppy breeding business and on the streets of Yulin is that the latter is on public display.
Animal rights and animal welfare debates are important, and there is a hypocrisy that exists within pet lovers who are also meat eaters. But debates about animal rights and their welfare but should never be sparked with cruelty and unnecessary suffering.
Hunters huh? What must have happened to them in their lives to make them want to kill a beautiful animal then photograph themselves next to him, smiling? This is the question being repeated by animal lovers across the world this week.
So much of this night was predictable and formulaic, that my mother's commentary on female breasts soon became the highlight. And there was much to chew over in that regard. It's moments such as these, where we mourn the loss of Joan Rivers, who you sense- would have had a field day!
If you didn't see the hilarious video that unemployed graduate Will Bowers created - to get his CV out there - with the hope of getting noticed by potential employers, take a look below.
I asked some well known friends of mine if they would read it and give me their thoughts. Ricky Gervais said it it was; "funny from beginning to end" David Baddiel said it was; "Very funny" and Jimmy Carr said; "It's the perfect romantic comedy, I loved it". It has been suggested I use a female pseudonym to sell the book, or have a sex change - but I'm not going through that again.
Rather than trying to be different with what you wear, you try to be 'ardently ordinary' or 'endearingly awkward', and, for a character rarely seen out of his zip- up polyester cardigan and sweat pants, it means Derek is not just riding a Normcore wave, he's the king of the movement.
A mockumentary about the BBC made by the BBC, it's too early to say if a satire whose hunter and quarry live in the same stable is ingenious or misguided. Instead, it seems timely (or the lowest form of hack opportunism to publish an article I've had marinating for months) to look back at the mockumentary as a genre...
It's time ladies and gentlemen to all join ranks and fight puppy farming so that every single one of us is proudly part of positive change for animal welfare, and the world will be reminded once again of the nation of animal lovers we proudly once were before we preferred to exploit them by painful greed and unnecessary suffering.
At this point in his career, Stephen Merchant knows a thing or two about successful comedy. The writer, director and actor, best known for his collaborations with Ricky Gervais on The Office and Extras, has won awards and plaudits on both sides of the Atlantic.
Derek is genuinely life-affirming. How many sitcoms capture the quiet, gradual, dignified, terrifying, wistful, relief-flecked prospect of death? Of recent comedies, only Jo Brand's masterful Getting On comes close.