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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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

Two nations may divide, but writers and artists prove tight-lipped

Why aren't there more plays focused on Scottish independence at Edinburgh?

It’s time that Russian stars criticised Putin for his anti-gay laws

There are a number of artists whose protest could cause Putin real embarrassment

City of hope: Orthodox Jews and Muslims mingle at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Season of Culture: A cultural melting pot with no dividing walls

As Middle East peace talks begin, David Lister reports from Jerusalem on how art is bringing Jews and Arabs together

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Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick