News Dave Lee Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, arrives at Southwark Crown Court on 17 January 17 2014

Former Radio One disc jockey Dave Lee Travis has told his trial he is “astonished” at sex offence allegations against him and told jurors he is a “normal, decent human being”.

The big six: Chiltern highlights

Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon

In the 1870s, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild built an opulent, 16th-century-style chateau to entertain his friends and display his art collection. It was opened to the public and gifted to the National Trust in 1957, although the Rothschild family remains closely involved. Visitors can explore 45 rooms. The collection includes paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Dutch Old Masters. The gardens, too, are a joy.

Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (01296 653 226; waddesdon.org.uk ). Admission to house and gardens: adults £13.20 weekdays, £15 weekends.

Bodies found in blaze house

The bodies of two people, thought to be a mother and child, have been found in a house destroyed by a massive fire, emergency services said today.

Top-performing school head questions value of GCSEs

The head of the top performing GCSE school claims today that the exam is no longer "academically challenging".

Boys score rare victory at A-level

Boys at independent schools have scored better A-level results than girls at the top level.

UK braced for more torrential rain

Torrential downpours are expected to hit large areas of the country tonight as forecasters warn of flash flooding and lightning strikes.

Student faces court over father's death

A law student will go on trial today accused of murdering his father.

Prickly heat: the suffering of the hedgehogs

prolonged hot weather may be fine for us but it's not much good for wildlife, and it is particularly bad for hedgehogs, while for baby hedgehogs it's even worse.

'Scandal tour' at Profumo country house

The country house associated with one of the greatest political scandals of the 20th century will later this month offer its hotel guests a special package that will include a "scandal tour".

Man charged with 2004 murder of retired colonel

A former gamekeeper has been charged with murder six years after a retired colonel was shot dead with a shotgun as he answered his front door.

McDonald's to train Olympics volunteers

McDonald's will help recruit and train the 70,000 volunteers who will be key to staging the London 2012 Olympics.

Discovery of babies' skeletons exposes the dark side of life in Roman Britain

One of Roman Britain's darkest secrets is close to being laid bare by modern science. Experts from English Heritage are examining dozens of infant skeletons buried 17 centuries ago in a quiet valley just north of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire.

Porter charged with attempted poisoning

A kitchen porter has been charged with attempting to poison pupils at a top public school.

TV reception restored after transmitter blaze

Around 400,000 homes had their television reception back today after a fire engulfed a 200m-high transmitter.

Horse trader absconds from animal cruelty case

A horse trader convicted of the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen by the RSPCA absconded from court as he awaited sentence.

Protest votes speak volumes for Bercow

Although Ukip's Nigel Farage remained in hospital after the light-aircraft crash that almost killed him on polling day, scenes at the Buckingham count, where he stood for Parliament, remained decidedly colourful.

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In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering