Inside television: Why the battle is not just for ratings

This year marks 100 years since the start of a four-year war which claimed 16 million lives around the world. In October, the BBC laid claim to this anniversary announcing an ambitious slate of over 2,500 hours of First World War programming. Clearly, Adrian Van Klaveren needn't worry whether he's commissioned enough programmes, but if anything keeps the BBC's Controller of the World War One Centenary up at night over the next four years, it will be the tone of these documentaries and dramas.

Postcard from... Belgium

King Philippe of Belgium has granted royal pardons for 11 people convicted of traffic offence

Anger as Belgium's King Philippe ‘frees’ 11 people convicted of traffic offences

A Palace spokeswoman said the King was simply fulfilling his constitutional obligations by signing the pardons

King Philippe ascended to the throne in July 2013 after his father abdicated for health reasons

King of Belgium has used powers to pardon 11 people for driving offences in just five months

The King has been forced to apologise following the revelation which came a day before huge a 130 car pile up in the country

Postcard from... Brussels

The Flemish Masters are known for their sombre grey skies and damp-looking landscapes under an expanse of ominous cloud. But while the inclement weather of the low countries may have left an  unmistakable stamp on a whole body of work, it has also unfortunately closed down a Brussels exhibition showcasing one of the forefathers of the movement.

Album review: Benjamin Britten, Violin Concerto, Jan Latham-Koenig Orchid

Britten’s sole violin concerto is constructed from simple scales rising and falling expressively over exotic Spanish rhythms, but within this framework, from the opening silken thread to passages of great passion and profundity, the concerto unfolds into a piece of great magnitude.

Postcard from...Brussels

Belgium has been sprucing up its cemeteries, renovating museums and churning out commemorative memorabilia as the centenary approaches next year of World War One, a four-year-long event which is expected to bring millions of new visitors to the nation.

Brendan Gleeson, left, as Ken and Colin Farrell, right, as Ray in ‘In Bruges’

Not in Bruges: Mayor calls for crackdown on filming in city

Mayor Renaat Landuyt could well have had Colin Farrell’s inept assassin Ray in mind when he decided that the medieval city of Bruges should be a little more discerning about how it is portrayed on celluloid.

Postcard from... Brussels

Belgium’s players celebrate their victory against Croatia

Belgium’s footballers catch nationalists offside as team goes through to World Cup 2014

The crowds packed the Grand Place in Brussels until the early hours of Saturday morning, cheering on their “Red Devils” who had beaten Croatia 2-1 to secure Belgium's place in next summer’s World Cup. Many beaming faces were painted black, yellow and red, the colours of the Belgian flag, which supporters waved euphorically throughout the Gothic square.

A scene from Blood + Chocolate

Theatre review: Blood + Chocolate, York city centre

A hugely ambitious production transports an audience back to 1914 in a part-walking tour, part-multimedia journey

Postcard from... Brussels

Calling in sick with a hangover or to enjoy unexpected good weather may soon be more difficult in Belgium, where the Government has proposed a law requiring that employees taking a sick day stay at home for a medical check-up.

China ruffles feathers by detaining world's priciest pigeon Bolt

Authorities claim incorrect import duties have been paid on birds

Stephanie Flanders, BBC journalist

Page 3 Profile: Stephanie Flanders, BBC journalist

Ah, it’s Stephanie Flanders, the BBC’s trusted economics editor. Another banking crisis?

EC president Herman Van Rompuy

Composer to release album featuring haikus by EC president Herman Van Rompuy

His love of compact Japanese verse has earned him the nickname 'Haiku Herman', and soon the president of the European Council will be able to enjoy some of his own compositions with a musical accompaniment.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
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Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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