News

Since the Second World War, when the BBC provided news and comfort for a nation in great peril, it has played a central role in British life and culture. That is why any proposals for radical change at the Corporation, or any sign that its standards might be slipping, deeply disturb its loyal admirers.

Leading article: Up close

No one who saw it will ever forget the sequence in David Attenborough's The Trials Of Life where a killer whale, a terrifying six-tonne monster, bursts out of the sea on to a beach in Patagonia to grab a lounging, unsuspecting sea-lion pup. If that pup was shocked, so were we. A killer whale! On dry land! It was an image to stamp indelibly on our minds the wonder of the natural world.

Doc Brown: Unfamous, Pleasance Courtyard

Zadie's brother proves he's his own man

Dominic Lawson: Affluence, not control, is the answer

Once they claimed we should prevent Africans being born to prevent starvation. Now we're told we should be saved from the consequences of their prospering

My Way: Rita Clifton, UK chairman of Interbrand

'You should listen, ask questions and radiate a positive attitude'

The <i>IoS</i> Happy List 2010

While others produce catalogues of the wealthy, heirs and heiresses, and the bonus-baggers, David Randall introduces our third annual list of those who give, rather than make or take

Attenborough aghast at global decline of butterfly population

Disappearance of species points to catastrophic environmental damage, says Sir David. Michael McCarthy reports

Jon Thor Birgisson: 'I like being a social outcast'

Gaunt, vegan and introverted, as the lead singer of Iceland's biggest export Sigur Ros, Jon Thor Birgisson made for an oblique rock star. Now, however, as he embarks on a solo career, he says he's happier than ever...

Brian Viner: 'I saw a mouse so large, it may even have been a small you-know-what'

As a letter to The Independent pertinently pointed out earlier this week,when has there ever been a case of a human-being being hurt by a mouse? This follows the brouhaha over the revelation that most West End theatres are riddled with the little critters – except, no doubt, for the St Martin's Theatre, home of The Mousetrap.

Hamish McRae: Now it's the BBC's turn to experience a dose of reality

There is a temptation to pile the pressure on the corporation. But we must resist it

The Week In Radio: Objects of desire still making history

In this cold, slow January, immured in our igloos and staring bleakly out at the rain and snow, there's an immense comfort to be had in taking the long view. Recalling that our tiny strivings are just blips in the history of humanity. Radio is all about providing perspective, with the result that it was curiously uplifting to find oneself contemplating a couple of stone-age chopping implements in the first week of Radio 4's History of the World in 100 Objects.

Frozen in time: Captain Scott's huts

&pound;3.5m raised to preserve quarters that sheltered adventurer on doomed South Pole mission

How the baroness and the boffins got their sums so badly wrong

The home of British scientific research may be facing its biggest crisis in 200 years

Last Night's Television - Mouth to Mouth, BBC3; Life, BBC1

Brine scene investigation
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there