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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 current cast of 'Casualty'

A TV emergency? X Factor set for Casualty collision

The X Factor will go up against BBC1's National Lottery show and Casualty when it returns to screens next week.

Simon Cowell avoids divorce court appearance

Simon Cowell has avoided the prospect of a court appearance after the woman reported to be carrying his baby "resolved" her legal battle with her estranged husband.

X Factor judge Louis Walsh in Glasgow.

Is Louis Walsh swapping X Factor for Strictly?

X Factor judge Louis Walsh is reportedly planning to take part in rival talent show Strictly Come Dancing after leaving the ITV singing contest.

Tom Jones:

Sir Tom Jones 'quits The Voice'

Sir Tom Jones is reportedly the third big name to quit BBC talent show The Voice, leaving just Will.i.am on the coaching team.

Louis Walsh: what is he for?

Louis Walsh to quit X Factor after ten years

X Factor judge Louis Walsh has revealed he will leave the show after this year’s series.

Kelly Clarkson will face difficulties if she wants to take a ring which once belonged to Jane Austen out of the UK.

American Idol Kelly Clarkson faces export ban from UK Government over Jane Austen ring

The Government has stepped in to stop US singer Kelly Clarkson taking a gold and turquoise ring once owned by Jane Austen out of the country.

BGT's Richard & Adam performing on This Morning. The brothers look set to take the top spot in the album charts on Sunday, according to midweek predictions.

Never mind the egg incident: Britain's Got Talent runners-up Richard and Adam storm UK album charts

Richard & Adam thought their dreams of becoming recording artists were over when a member of the orchestra stormed the stage during their performance in Britain’s Got Talent’s live final and pelted judge Simon Cowell with a carton of eggs.

Danny O'Donoghue and Holly Willoughby congratulate The Voice 2013 winner Andrea Begley

Danny O'Donoghue follows Jessie J as he quits BBC's The Voice UK

The Irish singer said he has recording commitments with his band The Script

A new TV show celebrates the best of British

It's not a Ukip advert! Stars back BBC's patriotic show 'I Love My Country'

Frank Skinner: 'It’s like those Japanese fish. You take all the nasty bits out and it’s not poisonous'

The Voice coach Jessie J has taken against Will.i.am's song choices

Jessie J quits The Voice to promote new record

Jessie J has quit the BBC's talent show The Voice after just two series in order to promote a new record.

Elton John played on the Queens of the Stone Age's new record

Sir Elton John hits out at The Voice 'nonentities' and says he wouldn't want to be Justin Bieber

Sir Elton John has accused BBC1 talent show The Voice of producing "nonentities".

Leah McFall is the bookies' favourite to win The Voice 2013

Leah McFall favourite to win The Voice UK 2013

Leah McFall is the bookies’ favourite to win BBC talent contest The Voice ahead of the final this weekend.

Psy in 'Gangnam Style' follow-up video 'Gentleman'

Radio Ga Gangnam? South Korean YouTube superstar Psy wants to collaborate with Queen guitarist Brian May

K-pop sensation Psy has revealed he is meeting with Queen guitarist Brian May to discuss the possibility of working together.

Britain's Got Talent final 2013: Finalist Francine Lewis hopes for double celebration

Britain's Got Talent finalist Francine Lewis hopes to celebrate her son's birthday in style - by winning the hit talent show.

One-sided ratings battle continues as Britain’s Got Talent pummels The Voice

The Voice, which is to return for a third series despite falling ratings, drew just 5.7 million viewers as it reached its knockout stages

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own