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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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game