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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 Voice judge Jessie J slams Britain's Got Talent for allowing children to audition

Criticisms come after Sir Bruce Forsyth said he'd prefer separate versions of the show for adults and kids

The Voice winner Leanne Mitchell looks set to miss out on a place in the UK 100 charts with her debut album

Run To Ground? The Voice winner Leanne Mitchell on course for debut album sales flop

The winner of BBC1 talent show The Voice, Leanne Mitchell, is on course for an embarrassing flop with her self-titled debut album looking likely to miss out on the top 100.

Chav-o-Vision programmes like C4's 'Skint' and BBC3's 'People Like Us' are just state propaganda

These so-called "documentaries" are a deliberate attempt to demonise and marginalise the poor as sub-human examples of a welfare system gone to rot

Kelly Rowland has been appointed a judge on American X Factor

Simon Cowell appoints Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio American X Factor judges

Simon Cowell has hired former Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland and Mexican singer/actress Paulina Rubio as judges on the American version of The X Factor.

Saturday night ratings battle: Britain's Got Talent versus The Voice

Britain's Got Talent loses a million viewers but still beats The Voice in ratings war

Britain's Got Talent saw its audience drop by a million viewers last night but it remained way ahead of rival The Voice.

Saturday night ratings battle: Britain's Got Talent versus The Voice

Britain's Got Talent trounces The Voice in Saturday night ratings war

ITV's talent show drew in 10.5m viewers compared to 6.7m for The Voice

Britain’s Got Talent trounces The Voice in Saturday night ratings battle

According to early data, Simon Cowell’s talent contest peaked with a huge 13.03 million viewers

Simon Cowell has confirmed there will be changes to this year's X Factor

X Factor in working men's clubs? Simon Cowell confirms talent show shake-up

Simon Cowell has confirmed there will be format changes to this year’s X Factor.

Jessie J defends The Voice as credible - and takes subtle swipe at 'bullying' X Factor

It’s not all about the price tag for Jessie J.

No more smoke and mirrors; 'The Voice' and 'The Hunger Games'

Pope Idol: The Pope-pickers could have made things a bit more lively

John Walsh offers some tips for next time

Coaches Danny O'Donoghue, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J and will.i.am at the launch of latest series for the BBC talent show, The Voice, at the Soho Hotel in London.

The Voice judges Jessie J, Sir Tom Jones, Danny O'Donoghue and Will.i.am reunite for second series

The Voice coaches were all smiles today when they reunited for the second series of the BBC1 show.

Video: Helen Mirren's pink hair inspired by America's Next Top Model show

Actress Helen Mirren explained the inspiration behind her pink hair on the red carpet at last night's Baftas ceremony.

'Price Tag' by Jessie J: 'A lovely sentiment

Jessie J to shave her head on live television for Comic Relief

The "Price Tag" singer will shear her ubiquitous dark locks to raise money on Red Nose Day

Matt Smith (left) and Benedict Cumberbatch

Sherlock and Doctor Who to battle it out at tonight's National Television Awards

Doctor Who and Sherlock go head to head tonight for some of the biggest prizes at the National Television Awards.

Beyonce performs the National Anthem after Obama was ceremonially sworn in for a second term as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, DC

Beyoncé's bold performance steals Obama's inauguration show

Beyoncé’s second inaugural performance didn’t have the impact of her version of Etta James’s “At Last” in 2009. Singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” this time, she still inevitably stopped the show.

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The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
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Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
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Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
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Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
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Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
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Ross Burden pictured in 2002
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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried