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 NHS is “sleepwalking” into a nursing crisis with almost one in five frontline posts under threat, the Government is warned today

Compassion in nursing starts elsewhere

John Humphrys says you can't train people in compassion. But you can. And we must, if we're to make society kinder

The science of compassion

Can we be taught to care more about our fellow humans? Christina Patterson joins the scientists and thinkers who believe a true understanding of empathy could transform the world we live in

This week sees the premiere of The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe. It is the first feature ghost story from the legendary British Hammer film studio

Booze, nudity, excess: At 23 Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe looks back on a (partly) misspent youth - and acting with Jon Hamm

He had his first kiss on a film set, got naked on stage at 17, and gave up drinking at 20. So what kind of adult has he become? The answer: a very polite one

Doc Horror: Daniel (right) and Jon Hamm in A Young Doctor's Notebook

Booze, nudity, excess: At 23 Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe looks back on a (partly) misspent youth - and acting with Mad Men's Jon Hamm

He had his first kiss on a film set, got naked on stage at 17, and gave up drinking at 20. So what kind of adult has he become? The answer: a very polite one

Sir Michael Wilshaw, former head of Mossbourne Academy, now chief inspector of schools at Ofsted

For all the misery and nuisance they cause, league tables are a necessary part of public service

Schools, hospitals and care homes shouldn’t need to be put in tables. Unfortunately they do - so make the most of the information they provide

Robert McKee - A day with Mr Movie

His screenwriting seminars are legendary, but Christina Patterson finds that this 'guru of gurus' gives advice that goes way beyond how to write a hit film

Beth Orton: The comedown queen stages a comeback

She had a troubled youth, then her music became the melancholy soundtrack for tired clubbers, but Beth Orton appears to have found happiness in motherhood – and William Blake.

Troy Alstead, global chief financial officer, Starbucks (left), and Andrew Cecil, director of public policy, Amazon

Google, Starbucks, and Amazon... for these multinationals immorality is now standard practice

There's a limit to what the law can achieve in an era of globalisation. But we can change our own culture, in our own country - and elect people who agree

Lunch (and several drinks) with Shane MacGowan

Thirty years after the formation of the Pogues, Shane MacGowan is still here. But will he ever be able to get used to the idea that one day he won’t be? 

Drug firms are often reluctant to co-operate with rivals on drugs used in combination therapy

How can we cure cancer when it's lifestyle that's to blame?

Curing cancer has become a Utopian dream. As the studies show, it's the way we live that's making us ill. We can face this, or we can ignore it.

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Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'