Arts and Entertainment

Mr Memory, who was brought on Monday’s Newsnight to memorise the title sequence and couldn’t even remember that Jeremy bloke with the beard’s name. Gosh I love telly. 

Media: The Word on the Street

IT IS surprising that the BBC's star newsreaders Peter Sissons and Michael Buerk have not yet presented a news bulletin from Kosovo. Jon Snow has been there for Channel 4 News and James Naughtie delivered some memorable reports for the Radio 4 Today programme. Both Sissons and Buerk have apparently turned down the chance for the identical pragmatic reason. They were out of contract and while negotiating their new ones were not covered by Beeb insurance.

Yentob tipped to rule at BBC

NEWS AND Current Affairs executives at the BBC were voicing alarm yesterday as their old foe Alan Yentob emerged as the front-runner in the race to be director-general.

Leading article: Sadly, Mr Dyke can't be the BBC's director general

THE TASK of finding a successor to Sir John Birt as director general of the BBC is far too important to be left to the politicians. It is thus disappointing that William Hague has intervened to prevent Greg Dyke, chairman of Pearson television, from being considered for the post. Indeed it is a bit of a cheek, given the extent to which the Conservative Party politicised the appointment of members of quangos during their time in office. But the appointment of the director general is not a matter for Mr Hague. Or, at least, it is not a matter that justifies such high-profile intrusion. He could, had he chosen to do so, have made his objections quietly, through the "usual channels". Instead, Mr Hague has needlessly placed the BBC's governors - who alone have the responsibility of appointing the director general - in a very difficult position.

Open Eye: First Tuesday: Enlightenment, at the end of the tunnel

You slave away for five years, sometimes more, and eventually collect that well-earned degree. Then what do you do? According to the Chancellor, you pick yourself up, shake yourself down, and start all over again.

Profile: Alan Yentob; The insider's extrovert

In one episode of Absolutely Fabulous, Edina and Patsy went to visit an old friend living in Marrakesh. The friend, played by the late John Wells, had a Moroccan manservant. Summoning him, he bawled: "Yentob." It was a nice in-joke for the media village. The real Yentob in fact commissioned the series, one of the BBC's most successful of the last decade. But the more realistic cameo for the corporation's director of television would have been wining and dining Julia Roberts in the film Notting Hill.

BBC governors favour Dyke and Yentob `dream ticket'

THE BBC governors are seriously considering asking the Pearson boss Greg Dyke and the BBC television executive Alan Yentob to run the corporation together.

Final lap in the race for world's top public broadcasting job

THE GLOVES are off in the battle to be the next director general of the BBC. Thirteen finalists were revealed yesterday to have made it through to the shortlist.

Please sir, can I have some more?

It wasn't a nice week to be at the BBC. But Alan Yentob insists that if we love the Beeb we must pay for it

Buddy, can you spare some time?

Give time, not money. Comic Relief's founder wants us all to donate a few hours of our week to others. By Yvonne Roberts

Women in running to follow Birt at BBC

NEWS of John Birt's decision to step down from the role of director general of the BBC has this week launched the serious search for his successor.

Could it be magic?

I first meet Jerry Sadowitz at a preview of the show he is trying to persuade Channel 5 to commission, working title: Gobshite. I, like the rest of the audience, am expected to take my turn on stage and either ask Jerry a question, present him with an object of interest or tell him a joke. If he finds me to his liking he lets me stay, if he can't be bothered he presses a buzzer and I must leave the stage or incur the wrath of Jerry's bodyguard, Chris, who resembles EastEnder's Grant Mitchell.

Letter: BBC drama

Further to your article (6 February) concerning Michael Wearing and the BBC's drama serials output, may I set the record straight about the decision-making process on the Janet Neel adaptations? The decision not to proceed was entirely an editorial judgement made by the Controller of BBC1, Peter Salmon, in the context of the very strong range of drama titles on offer to him.

Nothing a spot of training couldn't cure

Resolutions The time: 8 july 1992 The place: three locations in north london

There's no smoke without ... er, that hot stuff

Oh yes. Right. Yes.

Letters

Alcohol is freely available but its harm to society in the form of alcoholism, drink-driving and violence cannot be denied. Stringent laws are required to control alcohol use. Cannabis does not do the same social and physical harm, so laws controlling its use need only be for the protection of the users themselves. Who has the right to stop another person consuming something that only has personal health risks?
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?