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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit