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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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