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

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
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam