Charlotte Philby

ON MATERNITY LEAVE. Charlotte Philby is a writer and reporter at The Independent, currently based on the news desk after six years on the Saturday magazine. She has been shortlisted for the 2013 Cudlipp award for excellence in popular journalism for an undercover investigative into a website offering students up to £15,000 in return for sex. She has also written for cultural magazines including Dazed & Confused and NYLON and contributed to several books, among them a biography of French street artist Blek Le Rat. A mother and born-and-bred Londoner, she spends most of her free time working on her first crime fiction novel.

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Charlotte Philby's Parental Leave: The smiles of strangers felt like being blown kisses

A mother's weekly dispatch from the pre-school frontline

The Farm by Tom Rob-Smith: Book review

The use of Sweden in fiction as a bleak, dislocated backdrop for murder has become so ubiquitous in recent years, with the high-profile success of writers including Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbo, that its uninhabited sand-dunes and baron skies have been at risk of losing their chill. In his new book, The Farm, Tom Rob-Smith breathes new life into the landscape, transcending the traditional crime fiction genre with an intricately-knitted thriller steeped in mythology.

Book review: 'Ping-Pong Diplomacy', By Nicholas Griffin

Of all the subjects for a thrilling tale of espionage, war and diplomacy, ping-pong seems an unlikely contender. All the more intriguing then is the story behind a détente between America and China in 1971, which occurred seemingly out of the blue after 22 years of hostility.

The 50 Best baby essentials

With so many baby products on the market, deciding what you need to buy to help look after your little one can be daunting. Charlotte Philby gives you some ideas

Sleep easy: A cosy bedroom

Room Service: This little piggy went upmarket

The Angel & Blue Pig, Lymington

Cancer gender gap

Cancer risk for women in their 30s and 40s double that of men

Rates were higher than expected for both sexes in the north of England

The Duke and Duchess

Royal baby watch: Buggies, birth signs and bookies - the latest regal rumours

After what feels like a lifetime of nail-biting anticipation – is it a he or isn’t it a he? Gemini or Cancer? Bugaboo or Maclaren? – the nation could soon let out a collective sigh of relief with reports suggesting that the royal baby might be here sooner than expected, with a recent helicopter dash back to Buckinghamshire from North Wales fuelling rumours that the real due date is actually earlier than speculators had imagined.

Maria Sharapova

Wimbledon 2013: Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams' verbal volleys over tennis player topping the lust league - Grigor Dimitrov

The Bulgarian pin-up is at the centre of a Wimbledon love feud.  Charlotte Philby finds out if he has anything to get off his chest

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

The Kate generation: A snapshot of British pregnancy... 'I'll be having an epidural. I'm not an earth mother'

The Duchess of Cambridge is far from alone in being about to give birth. Three women whose babies are due around the same time tell Charlotte Philby their stories

TUC 'austerity bus' visits struggling West Midlands towns as it tours country to highlight the impact of Coalition cuts on UK workers and families

Paul Mason has worked in the same factory in Cannock, Staffordshire, for 29 years. When he joined the business, which makes plastic parts for the automobile industry, it was the third biggest factory in town, employing around 500 people. Nearly three decades on, the number of staff has dropped to just 120.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit