David Lister

A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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Well done, Mr Norris. Now tell us, what IS a national theatre?

Should it have been a woman for the first time in the National’s history?

Lord Hall should raise the curtain on a new era for arts on the BBC

Plus, why the National Theatre job would be safe with Kenneth Branagh

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as drug-makers in Breaking Bad

Never mind on-demand and box sets, we still love to talk about a TV cliffhanger

When it comes to a truly popular, talked-about TV moment - the old rules still apply

Downton Abbey: Fellowes’ biggest success would also qualify, as it has a British cast and makes lavish use of Highclere Castle in Berkshire

From Downton Abbey to Coronation Street, when life interferes with art, it’s a challenge for the writer

The departure of cast members presents a tricky problem to screenwriters

A welcome itself would be a welcome change at some theatres

Giving audiences a cast list free of charge would be a start

Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys performing live

Arctic Monkeys on Newsnight: Pop needn't play second fiddle when it comes to headline news

Plus: There's nothing like this Dame and will we be talking like Downton Abbey next?

With a little bravery Marin Alsop could conduct this Last Night of the Proms into a new era

Tonight is the Last Night of the Proms. And, as we all know by now, Marin Alsop will become the first woman to conduct at the most famous night of classical music in the calendar. That already puts her in the history books. But I’d like to see her go into the history books, or at least into tomorrow’s papers, for a further reason.

Bravery could conduct this Last Night into a new era

Plus: Some day their plinths will come and Satchmo shows Wimbledon the way

If we lose the sense of shared experience we get from television, we lose a cultural bond

Please leave us to our water-cooler moments, Kevin Spacey

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