Adam Jacques

Adam Jacques is a features writer for The Independent on Sunday.

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How we met: Ralph Fiennes & Tom Hollander

'I love going on holiday with him, as he enjoys being taken to places that are in a state of degradation; maybe it's a man thing'

Larry Harvey: The founder of the Burning Man festival on adoption, uncontrollable rage - and how Freud became a father figure

Wilderness environments bring out the best in people At Burning Man [the annual week-long cultural event , held in Black Rock Desert, Nevada , which Harvey co-founded in 1986], people come prepared for survival in an extreme environment, and as you're all in the same boat, you bond. There was a fellow who came out a few years ago, a wealthy lawyer, who brought all this newly bought high-end survival kit, laying everything out along the floor. Then a wind came and whipped them into oblivion; he had a nervous breakdown. But a giant dust storm brings home everyone's mortality, and you come together: replacement items began to appear. He was overwhelmed by other people's kindness.

How we met: Kathryn Williams & Paul Smith

‘I liked meeting up with someone locally who knows that side of what I do – it’s like being one of the X-Men’

How we met: Nicola Green & Elle Macpherson

'At home she walks about in bare feet and sarong trousers like she's at the beach – and that's the person I've got to know and love'

Ben Ainslie: The Olympics' most successful sailor on tactics, flying and his split personality

Calling sailing elitist is a misconception Of course all sports at the highest level are expensive to compete; it costs a fortune to win the Tour de France. But in terms of grass-roots level, it's relatively inexpensive; you don't need your own dinghy, and at my local club in Lymington, local school pupils can sail for a fiver – that's comparable to any other sport.

Credo: Actress Alice Eve on being sprayed by elephants, bad habits and her ideal Christmas lunch

My underwear scene in ‘Star Trek’ wasn’t gratuitous That sort of fantasy film is about hyper-reality – people with extensive capabilities living in fantastical worlds – and it’s my job as an actor to present the ultimate form in terms of health and fitness. So in these sort of films it works to, say, see a shirtless Chris Hemsworth looking incredibly fit in Thor 2; you believe he can wield that hammer – and it’s good seeing my character in her underwear and knowing that not only does she have the brains of the ship, she has [the fitness], too.

Middle-class problems: No.32 - Flatmates

It’s not easy living with non-family members...

How we met: Olivia Williams & Diarmuid Kelley

‘Our sessions became a bit like therapy’

Credo: Novelist Maggie O'Farrell talks critical husbands, Scottish independence and forcing kids to learn

All writers have to be readers first When I was eight I got encephalitis and was seriously ill; I spent a year-and-a-half in bed recuperating. I ended up reading what was on my bookshelf from one end to the other, and when I finished, I went back and read them all again: I must have read the Pippi Longstocking books, The Secret Garden and the Moomin books more than 30 times, and when I knew them backwards I was able to make judgements on bits that I liked, areas where I thought the dialogue was good and why – and I still use those skills.

Natalie Coleman: The 'MasterChef' winner on pigeons at dawn, animal rights and why celery is the devil's food

'MasterChef' is not a competition; it's an obsession It took over my life [earlier this year Coleman became the third woman to win the competition]. I'd wake up in the night with Gregg Wallace in my dreams, then I'd sit up and worry about what I'd cook next. So I'd be up at 5am, cooking and eating pigeon, celeriac and lentils. I'm a bit geeky and obsessive with anything I get into.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own