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
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis