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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The Independent around the web

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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Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada