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".

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.

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.

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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