News David Icke has launched The People's Voice, a new free internet TV station

Conspiracy theorist says new station will 'give people who are currently voiceless in the mainstream media their say'

Diary RUTH DUDLEY EDWARDS

Interviewed about his health in the London Evening Standard last week, the newscaster John Humphrys remarked: "Glasses are a complete bloody nightmare ... I'm always losing them or sitting on them. I refuse to walk down the road with them hanging on a bit of string round my neck. That is the ultimate admission of getting old, isn't it?"

Eurobop

Finally this year, Ireland have managed to throw the Eurovision Song Contest and condemn Terry Wogan to the wilds of Scandinavia in 1996, but if anything positive has come out of their recent domination of the competition, it is in the form of a band of Irish dancers, who've managed to convince the world that Irish folk dancing is truly a spectator sport. Thanks for this minor miracle must chiefly go to Moya Doherty for giving birth to the Eurovision interval hit in the first place, but Riverdance has grown a great deal since then and, on its first UK tour since the immaculate conception, the show has already sold out for 17 of its 24 performances. That means there's only seven left, so start charging up the old credit cards because the fun ain't cheap. All the music for the show has been written by Irish composer Bill Whelan, and the folk dancing has been spiced up by the addition of flamenco, gospel and the Moiseyev Dance Company from Moscow. Principal choreographer is Michael Flatley who, since the original success in Dublin, has been declared a Living Treasure by the National Geographic Society - high praise indeed.

LETTER : Have a gloomy St Patrick's Day

From Mr Gearoid O'Meachair

Dining out on blood jelly soup

It's a brave oldie who goes on a three-week tour round China. Joan Wyndham feared the worst - and was not disappointed There was always one dish of some unidentifiable creature

POP / Rut before groove: It's official: audiences would rather listen to Radio 2 than the new-look, fab and funny, Radio 1. But of course, says Martin Kelner. Solitary, furtive pleasures obey their own rules

If everybody wanted what they said they wanted, Neil Kinnock's Labour government would be running out of steam about now, the television companies would have abandoned soaps and quizzes in favour of wildlife documentaries, and Matthew Bannister, the controller of Radio 1, would be chaired shoulder-high through the streets of London having delivered us from those boring old disc jockeys we always said we never liked.

Media: Radio 2's proudest listener: Frances Line tells Margaret Farrall how she persuades 9 million people to stay tuned longer

Every weekday Frances Line hits the London commuter trail early, to be at her Great Portland Street office for 8.30am. A warm middle-aged face in the crowd, she takes a bus to Croydon, a train to Victoria and finally another bus.

Letter bomb sent to Wogan

A letter bomb addressed to Terry Wogan was intercepted by a member of BBC staff yesterday, corporation sources said.

Opinions: Do you ever cheat?

JAMES PATMORE, commercial property agent: I'm very good at cheating at Scrabble. If I don't like the letters I've got I put them back into the bag when I pick up my new letters. I also have nine or 10 letters in my hand instead of the usual seven so I've got more to choose from. When I play Monopoly I like to have a little supply of hotels in my pocket and always take interest- free loans from the bank at will. It's difficult to cheat at chess, but it's always worth trying to remove one of your opponent's pieces while he is in the loo. It's easy to cheat at darts. You can quickly grab your dart and pretend it was in a treble.

RADIO / From French to Greek, via Waterloo

'QUEL age as-tu?' demands a stern woman. Silence. What is this? It should be Glushchenko conducting Grieg. No time for dithering. 'Repondez]' she insists, menacingly. Then the penny dropped. I'd tuned in to Radio 3 a moment too soon and had joined Le Club, a primary French lesson (all they ever seem to teach is how to find out somebody's age). Schools programmes, ejected from Radio 5, have slid into an uncomfortable afternoon slot on the wrong channel, and all over the land confused music- lovers are trying to remember the French for 'In my early seventies, actually'.

Review: Is Terry Wogan doing the right thing?

THE MEN from the BBC are in the process of redecorating the weekend - putting up new paper here, freshening the paintwork there. Last week Terry Wogan took the wraps off a British version of Brazil's favourite television programme (isn't it meant to work the other way around?) and this week we were given first sight of Felicity Kendal's new comedy series, Honey for Tea, of Richard Griffiths in Pie in the Sky and of the DIY broadcasting of Video Nation. As a rival to the charms of Imogen Stubbs in Anna Lee (ITV) you might think that Richard Griffiths was lacking something physically (surrounding airspace, basically) but there is real mischief in the timing. Pie in the Sky nibbles into the first five minutes of the main ITV Sunday offering, thus increasing the chances that viewers will stick with the crowd-pleasing movie that Alan Yentob has decided to place against it.

Leading Article: Banged up for watching telly

IN THE midst of mortar attacks, street shootings and the discovery of so many bodies, it is reassuring to have some confirmation that Mr Michael Howard's resolute approach to lawbreaking is being rigorously implemented: 845 people, we learn, many of them single mothers, were sent to jail last year for watching television without a licence. This is a good idea. If we are to reintroduce respect for the law, it is important to start with the basics. And, as any early Victorian could have told you, if you cannot pay, you go to jail. We shall all sleep easier knowing that those tenacious employees of Mr John Birt, the men and women of the BBC TV Licensing Unit, Bristol, will press for the maximum penalties to ensure that Mr Noel Edmonds, Mr Terry Wogan, Mr David Dimbleby and Miss Gillian Taylforth are adequately rewarded for their services. Once, as Voltaire noted with awe, we used to hang admirals to encourage their colleagues; now we jail people who can't pay or won't pay for Crimewatch.

Long runners: No 21: The Archers

Age: 43. After a trial week in the Midlands, it was first broadcast to the nation on 1 January 1951.

RADIO / Monsters, movies, mystery and imagination

HAVE YOU noticed how terrible the weather has been recently? And do you know why? An old man in our village is quite certain of the answer. It's because they started letting women read the forecasts. You see, once you let them loose on male territory, the very elements become uncontrollably enraged.

Radio 2 broadcasts from a family's kitchen: Couple donates pounds 7,500 to Children in Need to host popular morning show

MIKE GATT and his wife, Carol, were stuck in traffic on the M25 when Terry Wogan, broadcasting on Radio 2, announced an auction. The Gatts, who are property developers, ended up parting with pounds 7,500 to have the disc jockey Ken Bruce broadcast from their kitchen in the Hunting Lodge, Wadhurst Park, east Sussex. The bidding was by mobile phone, and proceeds will go to the BBC's Children In Need appeal.

Captain Moonlight: In a tizz here and now

NOW THAT the Great Question Time Question has at last been resolved, you will be wanting another television teaser for the dinner table, the bus queue and those moments in the small hours when sleep just refuses to come. So the Captain gives you: Sue Lawley and Here and Now.
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