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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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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones