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Using Comedy to Strengthen Nigeria’s Democracy

One day last July, the five writers of “The Other News,” Nigeria’s first prime-time political-satire show, sat in an office in Lagos, trying to figure out how to make fun of a king. The Ooni of Ife, the traditional ruler of the Yoruba people, had recently made headlines for an incident that occurred on a flight to Ontario. As the Ooni’s entourage boarded, one of his aides, dressed in a flowing white robe, blessed the plane by rattling a couple of shakers above his head. A passenger caught the rite…

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Comedy actress Bella Emberg dies, aged 80

British comedy actress Bella Emberg – best known for her role in The Russ Abbot Show – has died, aged 80. One of her most memorable characters was Blunder Woman, the comic sidekick of the hapless superhero, Cooperman. Emberg also appeared on The Benny Hill Show, Z Cars, and Doctor Who. Her agent said she would be “greatly missed”, while friend and pianist Bobby Crush described her as a “truly gentle soul”. The “funniest fairy”, comedy actor Paul Chuckle said. Skip Twitter post by @theBobbyCrush Such sad news … my…

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Peter Kay cancels comeback comedy tour

Comedian Peter Kay has announced he is cancelling all upcoming work projects, including his stand-up tour, “due to unforeseen family circumstances”. “This decision has not been taken lightly and I’m sure you’ll understand my family must always come first,” he wrote on Twitter. Kay said he was “very sorry” and that he hoped the media and public would respect his family’s privacy. The 44-year-old was due to start his first tour in eight years next April. The star of Phoenix Nights and Car Share currently holds the record for the…

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Music & Arts 

Jason Manford: My nan prefers my singing to my comedy

When TV funnyman Jason Manford announced he was releasing an album of serious show tunes, it may have come as a surprise to fans of his comedy. But his biggest fan has known there was an album brewing in this old school entertainer for some time. Her name, I hear you ask? Leah Manford – aka Jason’s nan. The Mancunian’s debut record A Different Stage is being released this week – and if it does well then his beloved 93-year-old grandmother will be able to claim some of the credit….

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