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.

Katy Holland: Kids on flights are all right. It's the adults I worry about

Are we there yet? No airline worth its salt is planning to do away with children any time soon

A Quick Chat With: Paul Daniels

"If things get worrisome I just throw myself into work"

Ray Alan: Ventriloquist famous for his partnerships with Lord Charles, Tich and Quackers

The ventriloquist Ray Alan survived the death of variety theatre to take his act to television and become the doyen of his craft, best known for his tipsy, aristocratic dummy Lord Charles and the puppet pair Tich and Quackers.

Ban on unhealthy food ads 'should be extended'

More than 100 diabetes experts today called on the Government to introduce a law banning all forms of "unhealthy food" adverts targeting children.

Leading article: This is not the revolution that the BBC needs

Has the BBC juggernaut finally discovered a reverse gear? The corporation's director general, Mark Thompson, was doing his best to convince us so yesterday. A new strategy review proposes that the axe should fall on two of its digital radio channels – BBC 6 Music and the Asian Network – by the end of next year. And half of the sections on BBC online will apparently close by 2013 and the online spending by the corporation will come down by 25 per cent.

The Likely Lads fall out as Bolam refuses to sanction TV repeats

Former co-stars' simmering 35-year feud boils over

Album: Blue Asia, Sketches of Myahk (Farside Records)

The opening number on the latest album from Japanese producer Makoto Kubota sounds like an oriental take on the theme music to the 1970s children’s TV cartoon Roobarb, which, believe me, is a good thing.

Hit makes £170,000 for Children In Need

Peter Kay's chart-topping animated hit has raised at least £170,000 for BBC Children In Need, it was announced today.

Behind the scenes of Sesame Street



Sesame Street celebrates its 40th birthday this year and all of its most beloved characters have been enjoying the party. The development of Sesame Street has been a long journey full of foam letters, number songs and most importantly laughter. Along the way we have been introduced to some of the best loved characters in television including Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch (who resides in a trash can) and Bert and Ernie, the show’s notorious buddies who, thanks to Ernie, often get up to no good.

Why Sesame Street still counts

It's four decades since the residents of one of the most famous addresses on TV made their debut. Guy Adams reports on an educational institution

Sarah Churchwell: What I learned from Big Bird and Oscar

Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away, on my way to where the air is sweet – like millions of children who grew up in the 1970s, I can tell you how to get to Sesame Street. It may be 40-years-old, but little about the show has dated: I have it on good authority – two nephews and a niece – that Cookie Monster still gobbles cookies mumbling "Om, nom, nom", Oscar is still grouchy, and Big Bird is still played by the same puppeteer, Caroll Spinney, who has played him since the show began.

Soupy Sales: Anarchic and pioneering children's TV personality

Although Soupy Sales, who has died aged 83, will inevitably be remembered with a pie in his face, as befits a comedian who took an estimated 20,000 of them during his career, his slapstick brilliance should not overshadow his influence on a whole generation of Americans, including many notable comics who, as adolescents, teenagers, or even young adults in the late 1950s and early 1960s, were enthralled by the anarchic pleasures of Soupy's so-called "children's" shows.

Michelle Obama to promote gardening on Sesame Street

US first lady Michelle Obama is to kick off the 40th anniversary season of the children's TV show "Sesame Street" with a segment encouraging kids to plant gardens and eat healthy food.

David Prosser: Cut the Beeb's funding, don't share it out

Outlook Whatever you think about the BBC – and newspapers such as The Independent have every reason to complain about the taxpayer-funded broadcaster's unfair advantages over the commercial media – it is difficult to defend the proposal to top-slice its licence fee income.

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Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
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people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
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Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
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Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
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Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker