News

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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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project