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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London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments