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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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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
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A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick