Simon Kelner

Simon Kelner was Editor of The Independent between 1998 and 2011. He writes a daily column for i.

Simon Kelner The demise of the Rushdie union is a typical tale of marriage

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Put these two aphorisms together, and you have the preternaturally rather wonderful form of Padma Lakshmi, who we know less as an ex-model and the host of America’s Top Chef than as the former wife of the celebrated author Salman Rushdie.

Simon Kelner When did gambling become the nation’s new tipple?

When I was growing up, there were countless adverts on television proclaiming the virtues of certain alcoholic drinks. “Try the taste of Martini”; “I’d love a Babycham”; “Heineken refreshes the parts”, etc. At the same time, gambling was regarded as a pursuit so dangerous that the windows of betting shops were blacked out and it was inconceivable that a bookmaker would be allowed to advertise. The not-so-subliminal message was: drinking good, betting bad.

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Simon Kelner Hate New Year's Eve? Here's how to get through it unscathed

Driven to the edge by a classroom full of recalcitrant teenagers, my old maths teacher ended one lesson in total exasperation. “I’ve taught you everything I know,” he exclaimed. “And now you know nothing!” I knew what he was getting at, and his words are echoing in my head as I write this column in which I’m going to tell you everything I know about New Year’s Eve – lessons that have been learned the hard way through years of experience. I don’t, however, expect you to remember any of it once you put your dancing shoes on.