Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson is a writer, broadcaster and columnist. She writes about politics, society, culture, travel, books and the arts. She has interviewed writers and artists ranging from Martin Amis to Eddie Izzard and Werner Herzog, and did the first interview after he left office with Gordon Brown. A former director of the Poetry Society, and literary programmer at the Southbank Centre, she has written for the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, Time, the Spectator and the New Statesman. She’s a regular commentator on radio and TV news programmes, a regular reviewer on the Sky News press preview, and a regular guest on The Review Show. She has campaigned to improve standards in nursing in a series of articles in the Independent, by speaking at conferences, and in programmes she has made for Radio 4 and The One Show. Christina is the only woman on the shortlist for the Orwell Prize 2013. She has now left The Independent, but can be contacted via her website, www.christinapatterson.co.uk .

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Future perfect in ancient Italy

Room Service: Torre di Moravola, Moravola Alta, Montone, Umbria, Italy

Classics academic Mary Beard

Mary Beard interview: 'I hadn't realised that there were people like that'

The star classicist began by challenging sexism, and is now squaring up to internet trolls

Only the cold-hearted could fail to see a brave and brilliant woman who made a mistake

If you break the law, you have to pay. Those are the rules. Vicky Pryce knows the rules

Yes, Page 3 is bad for women. But so are the photos in OK! magazine

Naked breasts in ‘The Sun’ have made Rupert Murdoch an awful lot of money in 42 years

TV's Matthew Hall, better known as Harry Hill

Harry Hill: The private life of the Lord of Misrule

Harry Hill's TV Burp ripped up the rules of family TV – but not without taking a toll on its star's real-life alter ego, Matthew Hall. Ahead of a tour and an X Factor musical, he talks about life beyond Saturday teatimes

As the Francis report highlights Mid Staffs failings we should name and shame cruel NHS staff

Our writer, who has been a prominent voice in the campaign for better nursing, considers why low standards have become commonplace

ON GERARD BYRNE AT LISSON GALLERY: Looks at the

Why it's time for galleries to dump the jargon

The art world uses words everyone else has dropped

Minnie Driver stars in 'I Give It a Year,' which opens on 8 February

Minnie Driver: 'I dream of a farm, and making bread. I dream of that other life'

Despite the slings and arrows of tabloid infamy, Minnie Driver has forged a stellar Hollywood career. Now, with the advent of middle age, her priorities are changing. So can she stay at the top?

Paula Rego in her London studio

Paula Rego's private world

Now in her eighth decade, and with another new exhibition opening, she's been called 'the best painter of women's experience alive'. So why does she still feel frightened?

Well-versed: Sharon Olds

Me, myself and I: How easy is it to write confessional poetry?

Sharon Olds' account of her marital break-up made her a deserved TS Eliot winner. But that doesn't mean confessional poetry is easy to pull off, says Christina Patterson.

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