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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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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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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
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas