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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'