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. 

Leisure: Why BBC1 has swapped the world for a balloon

The BBC is responding to the digital revolution - and devolution - by flying a hot air balloon across the United Kingdom. Rob Brown, Media Editor, says it is not as daft as it sounds.

Rob Brown

`I don't know of a single person in BBC news who is prepared to compromise on a fundamental adherence to the principle of journalism first, business afterwards' - Fergal Keane

BBC celebrates daytime revival

BBC chiefs are celebrating a daytime TV ratings turnaround after ditching their "sofa celebrities" Nick Owen and Anne Diamond last year.

Why would anyone believe this rubbish?

TELEVISION

Godmother of `EastEnders' dies

Julia Smith, (left) the co-creator of EastEnders, has died. The BBC said that the woman known to the cast as "the godmother" died yesterday at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, after a short illness. she was in her mid-60s.

New drama head at BBC

Colin Adams, the BBC's northern broadcasting head, has been picked to fill the long-empty top spot in the BBC's drama department.

One motorway, two Britains: Social divide in West London

In West London, two communities are divided by a wide road. On one side, in the poverty of the White City estate, a nine-year-old girl was allegedly raped last week by five nine- and ten-year-old boys. On the other is Notting Hill and Holland Park, the new seat of media and business power. These opinion-formers never cross the road, turning a blind eye to the underclass within yards of their luxury homes

Men in peril, enter Beryl

Last Thursday, Beryl Vertue, television producer extraordinaire, was given a fine forum at a conference in London. Rightly so. Nobody has a better tale to tell. Interview by Ann Treneman

The week on television: Undead series roam the schedules

This week Last Chance Lottery (C4, Sat) celebrated the joys of losing, and the biggest loser of all was Channel 4 itself. Unless you count Princess Margaret, victim on Secret Lives (C4, Wed) of the most brutal mugging ever administered to a royal personage. So farewell then, Michael Grade. Like Margaret, you had a phallic smoking habit, the Mail got the wrong end of the stick and dubbed you pornographer-in-chief. Hello, procrastinator-in-chief Alan Yentob, who will be eyeing up the vacancy. For BBC news he delivered a respectful obituary on Grade's reign while trying not to look like the cat who got the cream.

New boss will stay on old course

Staff at Channel 4, stunned by Michael Grade's decision to quit as chief executive, have been reassured that whoever succeeds him in the post will not set the station on a drastically different course.

Table Tennis: The 67-year-old maestro gives youth a chance

Mike Rowbottom visits table tennis's equivalent of Wimbledon

Tuning in by remote control

Annus Horribilis, Annus Mirabilis; Alan Yentob was the visible face of BBC moguldom. Then John Birt flicked the switch. By Thomas Sutcliffe

Drama heavyweights attack BBC `dilution'

Some of the biggest names in British drama have joined forces to attack the director general of the BBC, John Birt - accusing him of diluting BBC drama "for commercial expediency".

Jobs to go in BBC revamp

The BBC yesterday took a crucial further step towards realising the Birtian revolution by unveiling a new, slimmed down structure for the Corporation's massive production arm.

Here is Islamic Barbie, complete with chador and devout expression

Call me a drooling pervert, but I've become obsessed with Barbie dolls. I love the way they're supposed to embody, in nine inches of plastic, the supposed dreams and career plans of today's girls; and the way, in the interests of offering an eclectic portfolio of hobbies to the nation's seven-year-olds, the manufacturers keep coming up with more and more ridiculous things for her to do. With the help of my indefatigable assistant, Sophie (nine), I've identified: Mountain-Climbing Barbie, Skiing Barbie, Magic Songbird Barbie, Twirling Ballerina Barbie, Beach and Lifeguard Barbie, Barbie And Her Horse Nibbles, Teacher Barbie and Mermaid Barbie. Then there are the smutty variants for aspirant good-time girls - Gymnastic Barbie, and "Overnight Barbie With Overnight Bag" and, I dare say, one or two bags under her eyes as well ....
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Dennis Rodman has confirmed he is not going to the Middle East to 'talk to with the leaders of Isis' as claimed in a recent satirical report
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Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
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Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
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'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
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Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam