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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.

The mogul thought Bowie was ‘a one-hit wonder’ with no future

My biggest misses, by Chris Wright, the man who turned down David Bowie

It’s the nightmare haunting every talent scout since Decca rejected the Beatles in 1962 because “guitar groups are on the way out” – letting a global mega-hit slip through your fingers.

Sharon Osbourne gives Andrea Magee some bad news on The X Factor

X Factor becoming crueller because we're bored of sob stories, psychologist claims

Standard-issue sob stories just don't cut the mustard anymore

Lord Gillingham with Lady Mary in Downton Abbey episode three, series four

Downton Abbey suffers ratings dip as drama goes up against Homeland

Downton Abbey episode three dipped slightly to 9.2m viewers, as Homeland season three returned to Channel 4 with 2.2m

Tony Jacklin takes to the Strictly stage

Strictly trounces X Factor by 1.5m in Saturday night TV ratings war

Strictly Come Dancing has won the Saturday night ratings war, trouncing rival ITV show X Factor by 1.4 million viewers.

Kaiser Chief's Ricky Wilson joins The Voice 2014 as a new judge

Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson joins The Voice as new judge

Singer replaces Danny O'Donoghue, joining Kylie Minogue, Tom Jones and will.i.am on the overhauled judging panel

Marvin Humes of JLS who is poised to sign up as a new presenter on BBC1's The Voice to replace Reggie Yates.

JLS's Marvin Humes 'poised' to replace Reggie Yates on The Voice

JLS star Marvin Humes is poised to sign up as a new presenter on BBC1's The Voice to replace Reggie Yates.

Television choices: Fresh double visions from the future clone zone in Orphan Black

TV pick of the week: Orphan Black

Teenage kicks: ‘One Direction – This Is Us’

Midnight Memories: One Direction album title revealed

One Direction have revealed the name of their new album in a teaser video published on YouTube.

Musician Will.i.am

The Voice judge Will.i.am praises X Factor mogul Simon Cowell

Chart star Will.i.am has praised talent show rival Simon Cowell for giving a generation of new stars a platform for their skills.

Father to be: Simon Cowell says seeing an ultrasound of his baby was 'surreal'

Simon Cowell: I won't be changing dirty nappies

X Factor mogul Simon Cowell has said that he is going to be a great father - but he will not change dirty nappies.

Nigel Harman who plays Simon Cowell and Simon Cowell at a photo-call for the X Factor musical I Can't Sing

X Factor musical I Can't Sing has a go at Simon Cowell

X Factor boss Simon Cowell said he knows he will "get it in the neck" in the new musical based on the hit singing show.

Father to be: Simon Cowell says seeing an ultrasound of his baby was 'surreal'

X Factor boss Simon Cowell describes impending fatherhood as 'surreal' after seeing baby scan

Simon Cowell has described the prospect of fatherhood as "surreal" after seeing a scan of his unborn child.

Sharon Osbourne has a message for photographers at the launch

First night: The X factor; The Mayfair Hotel, London - Sharon Osbourne returns to add grit to Cowell-free show

When Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television, unveiled the 10th series of The X Factor in a Mayfair hotel, he felt confident enough to take a swipe at the strike rate of its BBC1 rival, The Voice. “No other singing talent show on UK television has launched so many stars – or any stars,” he crowed.

Bill Ward, the Former Coronation Street villain, is joining the cast of rival ITV soap Emmerdale.

From the cobbles to the Dales: Coronation Street actor Bill Ward joins Emmerdale

Former Coronation Street villain Bill Ward is joining the cast of rival ITV soap Emmerdale.

Louis Walsh: what is he for?

X Factor needs to be 'more honest', says judge Louis Walsh

X Factor judge Louis Walsh has admitted that the show "needs to change" and become "more honest".

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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'