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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.

Email trail: What the BBC bosses really knew

On 29 May 2010, Nick Vaughan-Barratt sent an email to George Entwistle (then the BBC’s Controller of Knowledge Commissioning):

Russell Lynch: Auction of 4G mobile spectrum is a wish come true for the Chancellor

Consumers are demanding super-fast broadband on their jazzy new smartphones and tablets
David Cameron said: 'I'm a massive supporter of marriage and I don't want gay people to be excluded from a great institution'

Can Cameron live down his "Wor Jackie" moment?

Our diarist says the Prime Minister's pop culture references don't always stack up

The BBC chairman Chris Patten (left) has been commenting after last night's resignation of the BBC Director General George Entwistle (right)

Entwistle's pay-off is a boiling point for the BBC

But there are bigger things at stake than the £450,000 he took home

For all their faults, Newsnight and Jeremy Paxman are too good for the BBC to sacrifice because of the scandals over Jimmy Savile and Lord MacAlpine

Don't sacrifice decades of journalistic quality because of two very different mistakes

BBC's freelance stars' estimated earnings

The Deloitte review found the BBC pays £150,000 or more a year to 124 stars using public service companies.

BBC forces stars to give up freelance deals due to tax-dodge perception

Corporation to register 131 on-air presenters as staff in change to pay policy after review

Hidden scandal: Jimmy Savile, when he was made OBE in 1972

'Savile assaulted me in his room at Stoke Mandeville'

Further allegations of sexual assault were made against Jimmy Savile last night, as yet more women came forward to say that they had been attacked by the former television star.

If Jeremy Paxman has decided to stop wearing ties to work, that must mean they're back in fashion

It used to be simple. Men wore ties in almost every professional and formal setting

John Walsh: Sins you get away with – and those you don't

My friend Mary Killen, who writes the "Dear Mary" etiquette column for The Spectator, received a real chin-stroker in the post this week. "Now that Conrad Black is out of prison," writes her correspondent, "is it acceptable for me to invite him to lunch at my club?"

Work for your pension? That’s a bit rich, my Lord

Our diarist notes the curious perspective of a senior Whitehall mandarin, has an update on the outspoken Nadine Dorries, and offers a reminder of Conrad Black's taste

BBC to crack down on tax-avoiding stars after accusation of being 'complicit' in tax avoidance

The BBC currently allows some workers to be paid as if they were companies rather than individual staff

Archie Bland: MPs take too much pleasure in pillorying wrongdoers

FreeView from the editors at i

Top earners cost BBC £16m

The BBC paid more than £16 million to top talent in 2011/12, according to its accounts.

Jeremy Paxman has spent years terrifying guests, but was bested twice last week

Have they found the answer to Paxman?

After years of terrifying guests, the grand inquisitor was bested twice last week. Brian Brady asks if there's a knack all can learn

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
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Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
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Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
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Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
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The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss