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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.

Sir David Attenborough: 'I promised I would do something'

Cut childcare costs by having fewer children, says Population Matters

It's a theory that hasn't been proposed by politicians yet

Sir David Attenborough has been in broadcasting for 60 of his 86 years on the planet

Sir David Attenborough reveals his most distressing moment: 'They chase them, set an ambush, catch them, and tear them apart'

The Octogenarian naturalist told fans of the terrifying sight during an hour-long Q&A session on Reddit

Killed for ivory: Saying ‘it wasn’t me’ is not enough – we must act

Who wants to inherit a world where elephants only live domestically, because they threaten crops, or because their land can be used for palm oil or logging?

Indyplus Video: The news in 2013

BBC listener complains after Bacon refuses refund

A listener complained when he failed to get a licence fee refund after Richard Bacon said he would reimburse anyone who did not like an interview.

Google Doodle celebrates birthday of naturalist and illustrator William John Swainson

Google has marked the birthday of the ornithologist and renowned natural history artist William John Swainson with a Doodle featuring some of his intricate illustrations.

The Weekend’s Viewing: Subtitles should stop no one warming to this compelling Italian

The Young Montalbano, Sat, BBC4 // Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival, Sun, BBC1

Thompson stood down after eight years in 2012

BBC severance row: Corporation's 'big beasts' Lord Patten and Mark Thompson gear up for battle that only one can win

Current BBC chairman and former Director-General will provide theatre in front of Public Accounts Committee

Book review: Four Fields, By Tim Dee

From the Fens to Chernobyl, this tour of turf shows the skills of a gifted, if sombre, naturalist

The pair have teamed up to make a documentary on the world of “nature, technology and music” which airs today

When Björk Met Attenborough: The Icelandic punk, the national treasure and a display of rather remarkable human behaviour

Ahead of the airing of a documentary made with the acclaimed naturalist, the eccentric musician tells Sarah Morrison how the pair found common ground in each other's fields

Children paddle against the backdrop of Wastwater in the Lake District

Timeless fells, hosts of golden daffodils...and piles of ashes: Lake District Park Authority urge mourners to dispose of remains carefully

Mourners who scatter the ashes of relatives or beloved pets are being asked to be more considerate

Fraulein Julie at the Barbican

Theatre review: Fraulein Julie, Barbican, London

In the past year, we have been treated to a slew of high-profile French, South African and home-grown takes on Strindberg's 1888 masterpiece. But it would be a shame if theatregoers felt too Miss Julie-ed out to brave this stunningly left-field version, directed by Katie Mitchell and Leo Mitchell.

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleThe idea has been greeted enthusiastically by the party's MPs
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game