BBC dovetails plots as `Casualty' gives birth B`Casualty' spin- off hopes to lure loyal viewers

THERE ARE no new ideas in television it seems, only spin-offs. This month sees the start of Holby City, the latest in a long line of hospital dramas. But the way the BBC is using every trick in the book to ensure its success shows how far programme marketing techniques have come since the days of Dr Kildare.

Obituary: Lord Grade

FOR OVER 70 years Lew Grade was a leading figure in British show business. While still in his teens he had become a dancer specialising in the Charleston. Even when he was in his sixties he would enliven gatherings of television controllers by jumping on a table and giving a demonstration of his skills. In the 1930s he became an agent, and for two decades until the late 1970s was one of the handful of leading figures in British television, as managing director of Associated Television and inspirer of innumerable hit progammes and series. In his seventies he embarked on a final - and more chequered - career as a film producer.

Work, but not as we know it

Certain professions are used to seeing their work portrayed in TV dramas. But do they recognise themselves? asks Ashley Davies

'This Life' writer nets pounds 600,000 for debut novels

AMY JENKINS, the writer behind the hugely successful television drama series This Life, has this week been offered pounds 600,000 for the rights to publish her first two novels, in the final stages of a frenzied bidding war.

Guilty Pleasures: A flare for historical detail

Louise Levene loves the old television shows - for their interesting period costume, of course

Fashion: People in fashion - In love with de Lisi

If Debbie Lovejoy won't wear it, you won't find it in a Ben de Lisi collection. Annalisa Barbieri meets the muse of a great designer

Media: OK, so we don't always get it right

An army of consultants ensure accuracy in TV drama. Just as well. The public is hard to fool. By Meg Carter

Arts: Composer, producer, Avenger: just don't call him a polymath

Laurie Johnson's TV theme tunes are classics. So why has it taken 27 years for a serious piece to get its premiere?

Revealed: how Anna got a life after This Life

THE CULT drama series, This Life, may have gone for good from our television screens, but the central character of Anna, it turns out, is not dead.

Leading article: Unsolved mystery

Leading article: Unsolved mystery

Obituary: Edwin Astley

FOR A long time during the Sixties and early Seventies, hardly a night passed without the sound of a television theme tune written by Edwin Astley. From the trumpet fanfare heralding Robin Hood to the world- famous seven-note signature of The Saint, Astley's compositions conjure up an era of the best of television adventure series.

How to find life after the stars go out

The loss of a central character can seem like the death-knell for a drama series. But all need not be lost, says Rob Brown

Arts: Give Us A break Guv

What do Sick Boy from 'Trainspotting' and Kira from 'This Life' have in common with Baby Spice? They've all been in 'The Bill'. And they're far from the only ones

At last! Exclusive! What really killed off `This Life'. By the writer many blame

Mark Ravenhill, the gay playwright famous for `Shopping and Fucking' wrote the third series of `This Life'. When it was cancelled there were dark rumours that it was his fault. Not so, he tells David Benedict.

Culture: Gay sex story lines spell an uncertain future for This Life

The four million fans of This Life, the television cult sensation, face a further wait now that plans for a third series have ground to a halt. David Lister, Arts News Editor, reports that an attempt to inject more gay romance into scripts was pa rtly to blame. It topped BBC2's ratings and kept millions glued to the television. But it is understood that plans for a new series of This Life, the love and career traumas of a bunch of twentysomethings sharing a south London house, have gone on hold with no immediate prospect of production work beginning.
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'