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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future