John Walsh

Prolific writer and commentator John Walsh contributes columns to the paper as well as writing features, interviews and restaurant reviews. He has been editor of The Independent Magazine, literary editor of the Sunday Times and features editor of the London Evening Standard.

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Life on Mars? The imagination runs wild – and not in a good way

Small, apparently harmless things can turn into bloody great delinquent savage things

Rex & Mariano, restaurant review: Harbour-to-table is a nice concept ... but ditch the iPads

St Anne's Court, London W1. About £30 a head before drinks or service

A visitor walks past one of the displays of Elvis

Elvis comes to the UK: The King is enshrined, forever young, as Graceland arrives over here

‘Largest retrospective ever in Europe’ offers everything from his first record to gold telephone – except images of Elvis’s early decline

The flood of anger at the Irish water charge shows that tax avoidance has its merits

People are waking up to the fact the money will be used to pay off the massive national debt

Dictator's dinner: Hitler tailored his diet to cope with his chronic flatulence

Dictators' Dinners: From Hitler's vegetarianism to Kim Jong-Il's Iranian caviar

John Walsh reads up on the dos and don'ts of dining with history's great dictators

Ed Sheeran is the most listened-to act in the world

Ed Sheeran: Boy next door who made it very big

The most popular act on Spotify is a red-haired 23-year-old from Hebden Bridge who looks more like a fan than a star

Gloss finish: the lobby makes a statement

The Beaumont, London: Room service

A capital idea, this Manhattan transfer

Mikhail Kalashnikov with an AK-47

Instead of trying to rebrand the AK-47 as a 'weapon of peace', Kalashnikov should just tell the truth

If you’re one of the 250,000 people killed every year by a gun, the chances are it’s a Kalash

Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year

PD James appreciation: She shot from poverty to the peerage – but remained down-to-earth

Whether it was she or her friend Ruth Rendell who best deserved the title “Queen of Crime,” there was definitely something regal about PD James. She was a Baroness, she often lunched with the Queen and her books were always among the small pile of reading material sent to beguile the royal family on their holidays. She always carried herself with serene dignity. But it never, thank goodness, went to her head. She was far too down-to-earth to succumb to grandeur. She positively wriggled with embarrassment if you called her by her title. “Don’t bother with that nonsense,” she’d say. “Call me Phyllis.”

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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?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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'