BBC boss Mark Thompson defends Olympics coverage

BBC boss Mark Thompson has defended the corporation's Olympics coverage after reports he ordered staff to stop “focusing” so much on Team GB's success.

Steve Coogan: For nearly 20 years Coogan was on BBC2, but recently took Alan Partridge to Sky Atlantic

Sky's splurge on talent forces BBC to fork out for stars' loyalty

BBC boss says he welcomes investment in British TV but the cost of key stars is going up

Top earners cost BBC £16m

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

Part of George Entwistle's talent has been his ability to avoid controversy

George Entwistle: A good chap in the trenches who can command respect

He will find it easier to impose further budgetary restrictions than a DG without strong BBC roots

Runners and riders: the BBC executives Helen Boaden and Caroline Thomson, and BSkyB's Sophie Turner Laing

Is it time for a woman to run the BBC?

85 years, 14 male bosses. Now momentum is growing for a change at Broadcasting House. Ian Burrell reports

Director-general admits BBC has too few older women on TV

The BBC is right to be criticised for not featuring enough older women in leading roles in its television programmes, the broadcaster's director-general has admitted.

DJ Taylor: All hail Patten, champion of a clever BBC

It's goodbye to vulgarity as Auntie's new chairman prepares to outrage the philistines with his pro-elitist stance

She Stoops to Conquer, Olivier, National Theatre

I was amused to see a credit for an Etiquette Consultant in the programme for the National Theatre's new She Stoops to Conquer.

The sleuth hurts: Michael Gambon as Philip E Marlow and Joanne Whalley as Nurse Mills in 'The Singing Detective' from 1986

Why Marlow's return is music to the ears

Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective gets a belated 25th anniversary tribute. Don't miss it, says Gerard Gilbert

Why mystery man Marlow's return is music to the ears

Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective is back on TV. Don't miss it.

BBC boss may step down after London Olympics

BBC director general Mark Thompson is to step down from his post after the Olympics this year, it was reported last night.

Howard Jacobson: Forget the polar bear. I once faked a kangaroo

I happily accept a little telly trickery, never supposing I am watching unvarnished truth

BBC must include women in sports award shortlist, says Harman

The BBC was facing a growing backlash last night over the absence of any women from its shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch