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How art will be ‘at the very heart’ of the BBC

The BBC has pledged to step up its arts coverage, claiming it "will be at the very heart of what we do".

Viewers can look forward to three Shakespeare plays, a documentary about artist David Hockney, plus two programmes on radical writers hosted by Lord (Melvyn) Bragg.

The BBC has promised to offer viewers "front row seats" at major events including the Edinburgh Festival with online performances from the Scottish capital. It also says it will be ...

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Brits give big like to Facebook

Brits struggle to live without Facebook and the BBC website, according to a new poll.

The survey into UK internet habits by internet company Nominet shows that Facebook is the most popular website for 24% of the population, closely followed by the BBC (20%), Amazon (9%), Gmail (5%) and Yahoo (5%).

Facebook was chosen by 32% of women, while 26% of men put the BBC at number one.

Close to half ...

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BBC unveils new-look iPlayer – how has it changed?

The BBC has unveiled its updated version of the online iPlayer, with users now able to access on-demand programmes including comedies starring Frankie Boyle and Micky Flanagan.

The new iPlayer has been designed to make it easier for people to find the shows they want to watch, through the use of a collections section that groups programmes by theme as well as a better laid out channel guide.

"This is an exciting day for us," said Tony Hall, ...

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BBC iPlayer revamp may change the way we watch TV online

Viewers will be able to buy and watch content from the BBC as part of its new download service.

The corporation is revamping its iPlayer service, which currently allows users to watch free content from the previous few days.

Changes approved by the BBC Trust will allow the catch-up service to link to the new BBC Store, where viewers can buy and download programmes.

Plans for an online commercial store selling ...

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Lenny Henry writes ‘fictional teen memoir’ for TV

Comedian Lenny Henry has penned a new TV show described as his "fictional teen memoir".

The one-off drama, entitled Danny And The Human Zoo, will be screened on the BBC.

It follows a young impressionist from a Jamaican family living in Henry's home town of Dudley in the 1970s. The show charts his teenage years and rise to fame.

Henry first made his name doing impressions on the ...

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Did you hear the one about the Irishman and BBC panel shows?

TV host Dara O'Briain has accused his BBC bosses of "tokenism" following the announcement of a comedy panel show ban on all-male line-ups.

He has re-ignited a long-running debate about the unequal proportion of women in the comedy world, despite the fact that far more men want to perform stand-up comedy, the Irish funnyman said.

The Mock The Week presenter's criticism comes in the wake of BBC director of television Danny Cohen's promise that "we're not going to ...

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Why swapping cookery show from BBC2 to BBC1 is no half-baked idea

Why swapping cookery show from BBC2 to BBC1 is no half-baked idea. The BBC is helping a cookery show turn up the heat in the ratings war by moving it to its main channel next year. But why are programme controllers so keen to switch The Great British Bake Off to BBC1? The show has attracted BBC2's highest viewing figures this year with an average audience of seven million, peaking at 7.8 million two weeks ago. The contest's fourth series, which reaches its climax with the final next week, has been acclaimed for giving the UK a new-found love of ...

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Could there be a better choice than Cox to host science quiz show?

As a TV physicist, Professor Brian Cox seems to have every answer in the universe. So who better to become the questionmaster to front a new BBC2 science quiz show?

The 45-year-old particle physicist will host Six Degrees of Separation, the panel of which will include scientists and figures from showbiz who have an interest in the subject. These include comic Dara O'Briain and actor Ben Miller.

The BBC says the programme is still at the pilot stage ...

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Jeremy Paxman?’s beard the talk of the Twittersphere

Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman is normally seen bristling in his passion to expose secrets. But what does he make of a cover-up closer to home - on his own face?

The BBC veteran, 63, has laughed off the fuss caused by his new beard - claiming it may become a permanent feature. The broadcaster's appearance caused a stir on Monday (August 11) when he fronted the BBC2 current affairs show with new facial hair.

Paxman claims that several ...

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