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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Plan B

Plan B - The Master Plan

Chart-topper, social commentator, movie star: Ben Drew, better known as Plan B, has indisputably made it – but he's still not satisfied. So what's the reticent rapper going to do next? And what would it take to make him crack a smile?

Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, is seen addressing the sixth annual rally for Islam in Trafalgar Square, London in this August 25, 2002

Not quite the justice you might be thinking, your Majesty

The Queen was reportedly interested in the extradition of Abu Hamza. She may feel differently when she hears about the cases of Khalid al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary

Let’s speak out for the freedoms that we cherish

You can’t reason with people who think it is better to kill someone than say they disagree.

Hard yards: 'String-Caesar' cast members

Jail Caesar! A new film about the Roman leader features a supporting cast of prisoners

The prisoners know all about the day-to-day brutality of power struggles.

It will take a lot more effort than this to make the welfare reform pay

We love winners but let’s do something about the losers – get them back to work.

Christina Patterson: For God's sake, let them wear their crosses

Wearing a necklace, or a nose stud, or even an earring, doesn't stop you doing your work

Nigel Kennedy: Still pulling the strings

Violinist Kennedy can’t take an evening of pure Bach because it’s too serious. So an evening talking about his childhood might be even more complicated...

Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia - 'I don't get along with lesbians at all. They don't like me, and I don't like them'

The warrior feminist intellectual with a glorious history of spats with interviewers and rivals has mellowed. But not a lot

Word up: A scene by Hogarth from 'Tristram Shandy'

How the great writers published themselves

What worked for Sterne, Proust and others is now being done on the internet by a host of aspiring authors, says Christina Patterson

Christina Patterson: What's trying to please a man got to do with feminism?

Fifty years on, we seem to be talking about how women look more than ever before

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Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker