Janet Street-Porter

A former editor of The Independent on Sunday, Janet Street-Porter is now the paper’s editor-at-large. As a journalist and broadcaster she has had an innovative and groundbreaking career in television, creating programmes for the BBC, Channel 4 and LWT, for which she has won a Bafta and the Prix Italia. She is also vice president of the Rambler’s Association.

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Janet Street-Porter: 'It's our right to drink buckets of booze, but it's also a doctor's right to tell the truth: too much booze shortens life'

Booze tax? I'll drink to that...

Faced with open warfare from his own party on two fronts, regulation of the press and proposals to impose a minimum price per unit on booze, is Cameron in the last chance saloon? Of the two issues, booze is the one that he should make no compromise over whatsoever. Sadly, it sounds as if the Prime Minister is turning out to be made of balsa wood, not iron.

Kingsley Amis: “No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home in Weston-super-Mare

Better a full life than an endless one

Humans live longer than ever before, and some of the richest people on the planet are pouring their wealth into avoiding the one event no one can avoid, no matter what we have in the bank – death. A group of technology billionaires, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, are funding a new award called the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, which comprises five payouts of $3m (£2m) each, for research work into "extending human life". Larry Ellison has funded work on anti-ageing, and so has Bill Gates. These people have revolutionised life for millions, but can't face that moment when they draw their last breath, just like the rest of us.

Tesco admitted its Every Day Value Spaghetti Bolognese contained horse meat

Every little helps Tesco, but not us

After the horse meat scandal, the food retailer has placed apologetic ads in national newspapers

Former BBC's director general George Entwistle

The BBC must hack away the slack

After the ghastly revelations of the past months – sexual perversion emerging on an unprecedented scale, which took place over many years right under the noses of a management more concerned with protecting themselves than any victims – it's hard to believe the BBC still hasn't learnt the basic rules of PR.

Could Harry Styles do for philosophy what Brian Cox has done for physics?

Let Harry Styles be the people's philosopher

If the attractive, accessible and engaging former pop star Brian Cox can persuade millions who have never studied science to watch television series about physics, then could One Direction's ultra-cute Harry Styles, work the same magic for Greek philosophy? Surely there's no such thing as "high" and "low" culture, just good and poor ideas waiting to be discovered. The problem with a lot of publicly funded culture in this country is that it's preaching to the converted, Hampstead talking to Barnes, leaving out the masses. Alain de Botton is a professional egg-head whose books and television programmes use classical thinking to tackle everything from pornography to atheism to architecture to airports. Depending on whether you're a fan, the results can seem pretentiously banal or enlightening and profound. Whatever, they don't generally appeal to the Towie fans.

Janet Street-Porter: Vicky Pryce was treated shabbily by her husband

As Vicky Pryce and Chris Huhne have discovered, low-level bickering beats full-scale revenge

Plus: Harry Hill's return, Man-free zones and the saga of the billionaire's basement

Janet Street-Porter: 'If Romanians and Bulgarians bothered to read Life in the United Kingdom, they might think we spend our time waving flags, dressing like Sherlock Holmes, reading Harry Potter and gorging on beef'

Wacky ways to spot a true Brit

What are the values that define a plucky Brit? For those hoping to pass the 45-minute citizenship test (with a 75 per cent pass mark), Life in the United Kingdom is required reading. Thank goodness I was born in west London, not Pakistan or Nigeria, because a quick perusal of the latest edition confirms I would not make the grade. Being British seems very complicated. The first big hurdle is unpicking the logic behind the wacky range of facts included in this Home Office publication. What convoluted civil service mind drew up the list of contents for starters? They range from Monty Python to St Trinian's, Fountains Abbey to Captain Cook, Torvill and Dean to Yorkshire pudding, Santa Claus to the Last Night of the Proms. This buffet of random factoids seems designed to confuse potential citizens.

Mackarel: according to the Marine Conservation Society, this humble superfood must be shunned by anybody who cares about our planet.

Poverty is exploited by food giants

I have sinned. The other night I ate a mackerel. A nice juicy specimen, purchased from Carricks fish stall in Ripon market. Slashed, stuffed with preserved lemon, and baked. Delicious, but, according to the Marine Conservation Society, this humble superfood must be shunned by anybody who cares about our planet. Mackerel has been declared an endangered species along with pandas, snow leopards, cod and turbot. It has simply become too popular – and too much is being caught off the Faroe Islands and Iceland. The Marine Conservation Society says it's OK to eat it "occasionally", which I find patronising.

Janet Street-Porter: 'There needs to be a new model for the high street which doesn’t compete with online shopping and out-of-town superstores, but offers something completely different'

High streets don't need chain stores

What a load of bilge has been spouted over the demise of Blockbuster, Jessops and HMV. Commentators whimpered over the end of an era, as if we all spent our seminal years on a weekly pilgrimage to leaf through the racks of CDs. This rose-tinted view of the past as being somehow more desirable than the present is the kind of cloying sentimentality that holds Britain back on the world stage. It's sad for the thousands of employees who are losing their jobs, but many are young and will find work with other retailers or distribution centres. In less than a month, 1,400 stores closed or went into administration, the worst figures on record. Many of these properties are "zombies", bad investments the banks should have called in ages ago, killed off by one key group – us, fickle consumers, who have completely changed how and where we shop. The high street of yesteryear will never return, in spite of much hand-wringing on the part of Mary Portas or shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, who wants to launch a "small business Saturday".

Janet Street-Porter on Bowie: 'A massive exhibition about him opens at the V&A next month – a brilliant opportunity to sell product, when everyone thought you’d retire'

Leave me out of this Bowiemania

In June 1978, I was presenting a television show for young people when I got a call from David Bowie's PR to say the living legend had decided I should interview him. He'd watched one of my music documentaries, and was impressed by my lurid dyed burgundy hair – a style he'd sported in The Man Who Fell to Earth.

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