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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.

Indyplus video: BBC vs ITV

Kylie Minogue's arrival as a judge for The Voice saw the BBC show thrash ITV's Splash

Kylie Minogue pulls in extra 2m viewers for The Voice

BBC show thrashes ITV's Splash, where viewing figures dived

Simon Fuller, creator of the Pop Idol format

Pop Idol's Simon Fuller: X Factor, The Voice and Britain's Got Talent are killing talent shows

Fuller warned too many copycat shows are killing the talent show genre

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

The View from the Train: Cities & Other Landscapes By Patrick Keiller: book review - A delightful journey in search of Britain's urban hinterlands

Arthur Rimbaud's shimmering poetry collection, Illuminations, was partly inspired by his visit to London in 1872. Brocaded with a dizzy-making imagery of subways, viaducts, raised canals, bridges and steam engines, the poems are thrillingly metropolitan. Accompanied by his lover Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud noted down all he heard and saw. In some ways, Illuminations can be read as a poetic gloss on Karl Marx’s Das Kapital: the London masses as seen by the 19th-century French poet are alienated by “economic horrors” and “feel no need to know one another”.

Thai anti-government protesters gather in front of a registration venue for election candidates at the Thai-Japan Stadium in Bangkok,

Thai protesters anti-government surround Bangkok sports stadium to try to block election sign-up

Anti-government protesters determined to unseat Thailand's prime minister surrounded a Bangkok sports stadium on Monday in an unsuccessful attempt to block political parties from registering for February elections.

Look who's back: Simon Cowell has new plans for The X Factor 2014

Simon Cowell announces plans to shake-up rules on The X Factor

The judge announced a change to the format as ratings continue to slum

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'

Breaking Bad beaten by EastEnders as 2013's most searched for TV show

The drama was the only US series to make Google's most searched list

Sam Bailey celebrates hearing of her win with mentor Sharon Osbourne

X Factor 2013: Ratings for Sam Bailey's final lowest since 2005

Strictly Come Dancing beat The X Factor final in this weekend's ratings battle

Luke Friend has placed third in the tenth series of The X Factor

X Factor 2013 final: Luke Friend comes third and ratings hit record low

Sam Bailey and Nicholas McDonald will battle to win the tenth series tonight

Lily Allen is back at number one with her cover of Keane's 'Somewhere Only We Know'

Lily Allen returns to number one with John Lewis advert song 'Somewhere Only We Know'

The singer is at number one with her cover of 'Somewhere Only We Know'

Suited and booted: Dermot O'Leary will fill in for Philip Schofield on 'This Morning' in the New Year

Dermot O'Leary to present ITV's This Morning

The TV host will fill in for Philip Schofield on the daytime show in January

Elton John will duet with Gary Barlow on the final show of The X Factor

X Factor 2013: Elton John will join One Direction, Katy Perry and The Killers for the final show of the series

The star will duet with Gary Barlow despite attacking the show in the past

TV mogul Simon Cowell will not let 'The X Factor' die without a fight

X Factor and Britain's Got Talent renewed until 2016

The talent shows are here to stay for the next three years...

ITV plans to turn 'Rising Star' from Keshet International into its next big hit

The next big hit? ITV targets Israel's Rising Star talent show, tipped as X Factor with 'technological twist'

Judges and viewers vote as the performer begins to sing and images of voters taken from their Facebook pages appear live on giant LED screen facing the performer

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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss