News

Rolf Harris, the royal artist and television entertainer, has denied sexually assaulting four girls - the youngest aged seven - in a string of alleged attacks said to have spanned nearly two decades.

Where are the women on children's TV?

Every day, Ben Walsh watches CBeebies with his daughter, yet finds there are precious few female role models for her

The Knot of the Heart, Almeida Theatre, London

Won over by a woman on the edge

Leading article: A mouse that roared

Does David Cameron approve of Rastamouse, the Jamaican-patois-speaking, crime-fighting, rodent?

Tings is good for Rastamouse, the TV cult hero

He’s the skate-boarding, Rastafarian felt mouse who solves crimes with a chilled-out mantra of “makin’ a bad ting good”. Yet it's parents and students who are helping to turn Rastamouse into the biggest childrens’ television cult hit since Teletubbies.

New name for BBC's Radio 7

BBC station Radio 7 is being given a new name - Radio 4 Extra - in an attempt to attract more listeners.

Horrible Histories: The best laughs are on children's TV

CBBC's Horrible Histories triumphed over its adult counterparts at the British Comedy Awards – and rightly so, says Gerard Gilbert

Bagpuss, Soho Theatre, London

This season's crop of Christmas shows proves that most inner-London venues are seriously under-used in the rest of the year. There is a plethora of under-age party fun in the West End and now the Soho, home to right-on drama and cutting-edge comedy, has cleared the decks for Bagpuss.

How toys took over kids' TV

The Zingzillas ... Peppa Pig ... Ben & Holly ... did you really think they were just cuddly TV characters loved by your two-year-old? Gerard Gilbert investigates the ruthless – and fearsomely lucrative – world of brand licensing

70 years in the making, the Disney cartoon that's bigger than Potter

It is the most expensive animation ever made and the 50th work to be produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Now Tangled, a re-telling of the Rapunzel fairy tale, could knock the latest Harry Potter film off the top of the US box office.

End of the Rainbow, Trafalgar Studios, London

Watching End of the Rainbow, it's hard to believe that Judy Garland is dead, so closely does Tracie Bennett resemble her, bodily and in spirit. In Peter Quilter's play – a depiction of the one-time Dorothy's final fight for the limelight in the months before her death from an accidental drug overdose – Bennett nimbly rasps and cackles, seeming to speak and sing with the late actress's voice. Her triumphant performance shows Garland wrestling with a medley of addictions – to barbiturates, Benzedrine, Ritalin and other "adult candy" as well as to alcohol, men and applause. Her characterisation is at once alluring, in its dizzy abandon, and terrifying, as you watch a fragile person heading for the brink.

A gay icon on Sesame Street? Bert comes out of the closet after 31 years

The clues were always there. Bert and Ernie have been living together for 31 years. They like to wear flamboyant "his & his" pyjamas. And (here's the clincher) they tuck themselves up together each night in the same bed.

Leading article: Coming out of the closet?

Is Bert gay? Bloggers on a number of gay websites have recently become seized with the conviction that two of the characters on Sesame Street, the muppet show for pre-literate children, share their sexual identity. Apparently Bert, who has a roommate called Ernie, recently used the word "mo", which is US slang for homosexual. The show's producers immediately rushed out a refutation.

Floella Benjamin: From Big Ted to the Big Society

Samira Ahmed meets the Baroness of Beckenham. Since 'Play School' she has become a champion of children's rights, and has just told the story of her own traumatic youth

Katy Perry's cleavage proves too much for 'Sesame Street'

Producers of the hit children's television show Sesame Street yesterday cancelled an appearance by the cleavage-baring pop singer Katy Perry following feedback from parents.

Children's TV presenter bitten by crocodile

Wildlife presenter Steve Backshall has revealed how he was bitten by a crocodile while filming a children's BBC series.

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Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star