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.

Boy, 15, 'beat toddler to death'

A 15-year-old boy beat a toddler to death, a court heard today.

Images rescued from dump reveal black British 'Tommy' at the Somme

John Lichfield sifts through remarkable archive photographs capturing the brotherhood of men at arms

Rejuvenated Rose is back in the swing

Two weeks ago, Justin Rose set out at The Players Championship telling the readers of his blog, "I need to be a role model now that I have a baby". Four days later he was seen behind the 18th green snapping his putter in half. That's golf for you. Best-laid intentions almost invariably end up in two pieces in the nearest trash can. It will not take long for little Leo Rose to appreciate that.

Derek Draper resigns over 'smear' scandal

Labour activist Derek Draper has quit as editor of the LabourList website following the scandal of a No 10 smear campaign designed to destabilise the Tories.

Offended? You respond to Michael Bywater's attack on political correctness...

Think before you speak

What do anti-PC lobbyists want? The right to call out insults at every passing OAP, fat person, black person, veil-wearing person, disabled person? Will the new political correctness be unlimited offensiveness? Since when did the right to be as vilely insulting as one likes become the mark of an advanced society? If people want to go back to the days when landlords could advise, "No blacks, Irish or dogs" with impunity, just go on giving the foul-mouthed bigots a licence to present themselves as brave upholders of free speech. Otherwise, think before you speak.

Larkspur_14

Great Works: City By The Sea (c.1340), Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

Delta Spirit, Water Rats, London

Delta Spirit's PR machine has been working overtime back home in the States, where this rookie San Diego quintet have already appeared on Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel's popular late night TV shows. Over there, they are one of the industry insider's hottest tips. But on this side of the Atlantic the band seem to have been overlooked by the music press's "Big in 2009" consensus.

From desktop to dustbin: The evolution of the mouse

Technological innovations are changing the way we use computers. So, asks Simon Usborne, does this mean the end for the mouse?

Ash, The Roundhouse, London

Backstage before their show, drummer Rick McMurray is flexing his sticks, bassist Mark Hamilton is stretching his long limbs as if preparing to run the marathon, while front man Tim Wheeler is grinning with his guitar strapped round his neck. Then the casually dressed trio lock arms in a group hug. You wonder how much things have changed for the three members in the 16 years the Northern Irish band have been together.

Children being robbed of their innocence, says former laureate

Jacqueline Wilson's children's books feature five-year-olds being physically abused, 14-year-olds having affairs with their teachers, and mothers leaving their babies in dustbins.

Little wonder: Jane McMorland Hunter has broken every rule to create an Eden in miniature

Maybe she's been forewarned I can be bribed with cake, because when I arrive at the Fulham home of the garden writer Jane McMorland Hunter there is a strong smell of fresh pastry and an apple loaf cooling on the side. Her house is full of interesting things: it's piled with books, as McMorland Hunter worked in the gardening department of Hatchards in London's Piccadilly for 23 years, and here in her hall is the beautiful old hand-painted sign they used to take to the Chelsea Flower Show, saved from a skip.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

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Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

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Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

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French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

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Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

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Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

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Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

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Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

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Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

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