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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 News Matrix: Monday 2 April 2012

Calls to identify sperm donors

Woman held in custody over Cowell break-in

A woman accused of breaking into Simon Cowell's mansion wielding a brick has appeared in court.

Tulisa Contostavlos startled the gossip community by making a film of explanation, saying she was devastated

Ex-lover denies leaking Tulisa Contostavlos tape

A former boyfriend of singer and TV talent show judge Tulisa Contostavlos denies posting a sex tape showing the couple sharing an "intimate moment", a High Court judge was told today.

So did ITV or BBC win the war of the talent shows? The jury's out...

The Voice and Britain's Got Talent (BGT) have both claimed victory in the ratings battle to be Saturday night's top TV talent show.

One Direction pictured at a New York radio station last week

A first for a debut: UK band One Direction tops US charts

One Direction, who rose to fame on The X Factor, have become the first British pop group to go straight to No 1 in the US charts with their debut album.

The cast of The Voice (l-r): Reggie Yates, Danny O’Donoghue, Tom Jones, Jessie J , Will.i.am and Holly Willoughby will go head-to-head with Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent on ITV

Don't watch the viewing figures! BBC boss's plea as £20m Saturday showpiece prepares to launch

Danny Cohen betrays his nerves as ITV reschedules Britain’s Got Talent to drown out The Voice 

The exterior and grounds of Princess Park Manor

The new cast of neighbours: Why the bling brigade is flocking to a former asylum in north London

Princess Park Manor is attracting X Factor stars and C-list celebrities by the luxury-limo load, says Chris Beanland.

Harry Gordon Selfridge

Shopping, seduction and Mr Selfridge - ITV unveils new Edwardian drama after Downton Abbey success

ITV will follow the success of Downton Abbey with a new period drama about the American founder of the Selfridge department store which promises to “make shopping as thrilling as sex”.

No thanks: We didn't need Adele's speech

Music awards: Roughing up The Brits

Tuesday's awards ceremony was anodyne and uncomfortable. Andy Gill offers his 20-point plan to inject a bit of danger back into the show

Whitney Houston in 1986

Whitney Houston: The diva who had – and lost – it all

From her rise as a fresh-faced teen to her sudden death in an LA hotel room at 48, Nick Hasted charts the highs and lows of a remarkable life

The Black Keys, Nottingham Capital FM Arena

Describing his influences, Pat Carney of The Black Keys once told me he liked "drummers who look like they're only thinking of killing the drumkit", citing Black Sabbath's Bill Ward and Led Zeppelin's John Bonham as prime examples.

Carnage, Roman Polanski, 79 Mins (15)
Young Adult, Jason Reitman, 90 Mins (15)

Great cast but the plot needs a slap: who vomits on your coffee table then stays for a chat?

Singer Cheryl Cole

Caught and social: The celebrity winners and losers

Yesterday we brought you some of the key parties and events from the UK this year, today here are some of big events of the celebrity world in 2011.

Dappy, Indigo2, London

As N-Dubz’s most outspoken member heads out on his first solo tour, there is more than a hint of padding, though it is to Costadinos ‘Dappy’ Contostavlos’s credit that he rarely lets energy levels drop.

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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence