Arts and Entertainment The 1863 Football Association Minute Book contains the 13 original laws of football

The handwritten book by Ebenezer Cobb Morley contains the 13 original laws of football

Editorial: As the new Director-General, Tony Hall can draw a line under the BBC's dramas

He needs to provide both sound judgement and a real sense of vision

John Humphrys to receive Harvey Lee Award for George Entwistle grilling on Today programme

John Humphrys will today receive a prestigious broadcasting award following the Today programme interview in which his ruthless grilling of George Entwistle prompted the resignation of the BBC Director-General.

Melvyn Bragg & The South Bank Show

On 20 May 2012 we published an interview with Melvyn Bragg ("Melvyn Bragg: Good to be back?") to mark the return of The South Bank Show on Sky Arts.

The Weekend's Viewing: The South Bank Show, Sun, Sky Arts 1
Sebastian Bergman, Sat, BBC4

There are only a handful of TV institutions that have remained essentially unchanged for more than 30 years and in the case of The South Bank Show at least two of the hallmarks are aural.

Lord Bragg is to present On Class and Culture

The South Bank Show to return with Melyvn Bragg

Two years after it was dropped by ITV, The South Bank Show is staging a comeback.

Archive on 4: RP RIP?, Radio 4, Saturday<br/>In Living Memory, Radio 4, Wednesday<br/>Sex Night, Radio 1, Monday

Is the sun setting on the voice of the British Empire?

The Week In Radio: A philosophy lesson that's most enlightening

Eerie though it was that the killing of Bin Laden should coincide with a Start the Week devoted to the problem of evil, I don't imagine its message would go down too well with the headline writers. Because instead of talking about "Evil", according to the neuroscientist Simon Baron-Cohen, we should be referring to "a radical lack of empathy". According to his theory, which has prompted widespread interest already, around 10 sites in the brain are responsible for our empathy circuit, which affects our ability to commit callous acts, and this circuit depends on an interplay of genes and environment. Those with zero empathy need treatment. "Rather than putting them in prison we should be treating them in the health service. Empathy deficit is a disability no different from being in a wheelchair," he said.

The Book of Books, By Melvyn Bragg

Those who wish to banish religion from public life dismiss any enduring legacy of Christianity on the way we live or think now on two main grounds. The first is that the legacy is widely exaggerated by scheming bishops. The second is that, even if it exists, it is wholly negative, saddling us with the baggage of sectarianism, sexual repression and illogical thought. Melvyn Bragg's elegant, accessible and passionately argued account of the influence of the King James Bible, in its 400th year, quite simply blows such arguments out of the water. The King James, he writes, "is one of the fundamental makers of the modern world".

Bite-size books: Abridged too far?

So much to learn, so little time... In every publisher's catalogue, you'll find the slenderest volumes on the biggest subjects. But huge concepts can't simply be boiled down into bite-size books, argues John Walsh

Patten: I won't be popular at the BBC

Lord Patten told MPs yesterday that if he was confirmed as the new chairman of the BBC he would expect to be unpopular – and predicted that "there will be all hell let loose" as the corporation is forced to cut spending on programming.

The South Bank Show: Final Cut, By Melvyn Bragg

"They've killed the show", moaned Melvyn Bragg when ITV brought down the kibosh on the arts programme that had become a revered institution over its 32-year (and 110-award) lifespan.

Rude awakening for the risqué writers

Why do so many great authors struggle with sex scenes? John Walsh looks forward to the award no one wants to win

After 20 years, The Ivy celebrates its own big night

John Walsh on two glamorous decades at the restaurant that reinvented the celebrity scene

In Our Time, By Melvyn Bragg

As the BBC confronts a 16 per cent cut in revenue, where will its axe swing? For many listeners, In Our Time by itself has justified the licence fee – and a withdrawal from such ventures would damn Auntie to indefensible mediocrity.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there