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

Lenny Hamilton: 'I'll never forget when Ronnie Kray burnt me with pokers'

British Gangsters: As an exhibition of photographs and a TV series document the murky underworld of the country's criminal gangs in the Sixties, Christina Patterson takes tea with some of the faces

What a shower: 'Rain Room' at the Barbican

Water, water all around, but does it make you think?

Christina Patterson gets caught up in the rain at the Barbican's strikingly immersive new art installation

What one axed ‘story’ tells us about truth and the power of journalism in Britain

Do we really think the people who were hacking the phones never heard a whisper?

Pro-choice – but not so pro-debate, it seems

Those who argue for a 12 week limit for abortions don't deserve such a hate-filled response. There's logic on their side, too

Alice Cooper - 'Every word of the Bible is true. I believe the Old Testament explicitly...'

Veteran panto-rocker and born-again Christian Alice Cooper says he's a nice man. He says he's the nicest he knows. And some of his best friends are gay

In the age of Facebook, insulting April Jones comes with a heavy price - as Matthew Woods is finding out

The 19 year-old produced an assortment of tasteless insults. In the age of social media and online interaction, what he said was unacceptable and deserves to be punished

Fighting prejudice: author Zadie Smith

Is literature turning colour blind?

In her new novel, Zadie Smith challenges the way people think about skin colour. She's not the only author trying to 'wake up' their readers

The novelist Josephine Hart and her husband, Maurice Saatchi

Happy marriage of poetry and technology

Josephine Hart's dream is realised in a new app

If Hanna Rosin really thinks this is the end of men, she can't have looked very hard at the evidence

A fifth of women don't have children. Why aren't these women rising to the top?

Stylish interiors at Il Fienile Boccagnano are complemented by a 20m pool

B&B and beyond: Doors open on to an Italian dream

Il Fienile Boccagnano, Tuscany: A medieval barn is the sumptuous setting for a stylish hideaway in the Arezzo hills, says Christina Patterson

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Day In a Page

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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'