Christopher Hirst

Christopher Hirst is an award-winning food writer and freelance journalist.

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Book review: Royal Sex, By Roger Powell

Surely the most alluring title in the limitless library of royal titles turns out to be a comprehensive if sanitised account of regal bits on the side.

Book review: In Praise of Messy Lives, By Katie Roiphe

Having "two children, with two different fathers, neither of whom I am living with", this New York professor of journalism concedes that "my own life… is a little messy".

Book review: Gorilla, By Ted Gott and Kathryn Weir

Our vegetarian cousins (we shared a common ancestor seven million years ago) have generated an odd mix of fear and appeal.

Book reivew: The Horologicon, By Mark Forsyth

Ahoy! A word lover's guide to English archaisms

Book review: Inventing Ruritania, By Verna Goldsworthy

The vampire chronicles: what bookish Balkans did for us

Book review: The Sleepwalkers, By Christopher Clark

Probing the events and characters that ignited war in 1914, this book is as authoritative as it is gripping.

Book review: Ostrich, By Edgar Williams

Lack of flight produced not only size but also singular feathers. "Soft, downy and symmetrical", they were used by Egyptians as symbols of fairness and the Folies Bergère for tantalising coquetry.

Book review: The Richard Burton Diaries, Edited by Chris Williams

Inevitably, there's a ton of ego in these journals, from 1939 to 1983, but also intelligence, tenderness, good taste ("I've always refused to talk to Jeffrey Archer"), keen observation and honesty.

Book review: Bloody Foreigners, By Robert Winder

Starting with the Romans, who (like continentals today) relished our shellfish, this lively history of immigration is packed with interest. Medieval Flemish merchants gave us much including diapers (from d'Ypres).

Book review: Twirlymen, By Amol Rajan

"The great spin bowlers," declared the Aussie spin maestro Arthur Mailey, "were… not always pleasant but invariably interesting." This view is amply substantiated through practitioners from underarm spinner David Harris, who initiated the hat-trick and sat in an armchair between overs, to Shane Warne.

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Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
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'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
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Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

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?

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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

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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

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Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all