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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.

Jim Davidson beats Dappy in Celebrity Big Brother 2014 final

Comedian 'overwhelmed' by response from public

That's one hell of a lot of lycra: The 12 celebrities are in Austria training for new reality TV show, The Jump

The Jump, TV review: A bonkers, scary mash-up of Big Brother and Ski Sunday

An utterly ridiculous but quite heartwarming new show

What's the weather got to do with British phlegmatism?

Whatever the temperature, being phlegmatic is usually the order of the day in Britain; very much a unifying defining characteristic that will persist for generations

That's one hell of a lot of lycra: These 12 celebrities are in Austria training for new reality TV show, The Jump

The Jump: Marcus Brigstocke talks broken bones, getting his kicks and why the show is no Celebrity Big Brother

The comedian insists he is doing it for the thrill of 'sliding fast down things'

Dr Christian Jessen, here pictured second from the right with the Embarrassing Bodies team, is to take part in Cure Me, I'm Gay

Embarrassing Bodies doctor Christian Jessen to test 'gay cures' in new Channel 4 show

The gay presenter will undergo controversial conversion treatments

Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean will return to Sarajevo to repeat their gold-medal winning routine

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean 'excited and humbled' after invitation to return to Sarajevo and perform gold-winning routine

The Olympic Hall Juan Antonio Samaranch has been rebuilt having been destroyed in the Bosnian War and Torvill and Dean will return to the scene of their greatest success

Elise Christie of Great Britain (centre) competes in an ISU speed skating event

Winter Olympics 2014: Team GB’s women poised to outclass men in medal race

Training against their male peers has given Britain’s female contingent an extra edge going into Sochi – raising hopes of the team’s best return since 1936

The Wanted have announced time apart after their world tour later this year

The Wanted split up: Boy band announce break

The boy band have announced they are taking time apart after their tour

Indyplus video: BBC vs ITV

Nadine Dorries warns of a 'tidal wave' of immigrants from Yugoslavia - which no longer exists

Nadine Dorries claimed that Britain could see a “tidal wave” of immigrants from Yugoslavia on live television yesterday evening.

Evander Holyfield sparked controversy shortly after entering the Celebrity Big Brother house

For every Hitzlsperger, there's a Holyfield: Silencing homophobic views won't do anything to solve the problem of homophobia

There are still so many people who hold these opinions deep down

Fungi and his dog in Channel 4's 'Benefits Street'

Benefits Street, Celebrity Big Brother - for the benefit of entertainment?

Inside Television: More poverty porn on the bill as sex (sort of) sells in CBB

Could it be Broadchurch's night? David Tennant and Olivia Colman are both up for awards with the ITV show nominated for Best Drama

National Television Awards 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant shortlisted

A new TV Detective category has been added after a flood of hit crime dramas

Kylie Minogue at the Cannes film festival 2013

Kylie Minogue welcomes lack of 'bitchiness' as sole female coach on The Voice UK

Will.i.am said the show was 'warmer' with the addition of Minogue

Celebrity Big Brother 2014: Retired boxer Evander Holyfield

Celebrity Big Brother 2014: Evander Holyfield cautioned over 'gay ain't normal' comments

The former boxer said being gay was not normal and could be fixed

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'