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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He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
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Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

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From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
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Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor