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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Restaurant review: Shoryu Ramen Soho, 3 Denman Street, London

'Hirata buns with tempura prawns resembled a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish'

Book review: Expo 58, By Jonathan Coe

Swinging, snooping Brussels is the odd backdrop to this artful comedy of postwar manners

The current Swiss anthem, whilst being a nice hymn, contains scant details about Swiss life

Hit or Swiss: Our take on Switzerland's national anthem

A prize of 10,000 Swiss francs, or £7,000 sterling, is being offered by the Swiss Public Welfare Society to whomever writes the best new lyrics to the Swiss national anthem. The one currently in use, the Schweizer Nationalhymne or Swiss Psalm, has lyrics by Leonhard Widmer (1809-67) which err on the side of religiosity and weather: "When the morning skies grow red/And o'er their radiance shed/Thou, O Lord, appeareth in their light/When the Alps glow bright with splendour/Pray to God, to him surrender/For you feel and understand/That he dwelleth in this land." Critics have remarked that it's a nice hymn, but contains scant details about Swiss life.

Special agents: Robert Vaughn and David McCallum

'Napoleon Solo changed my life': John Walsh recalls the thrill of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

From the moment two men entered a secret office in a dry-cleaners, millions were hooked on the TV show. Now shooting has begun on a remake...

Dame Barbara Cartland sold 750 million copies of her books

A novel approach: Is the romance over in the ‘new’ Barbara Cartland manuscripts?

When Dame Barbara Cartland died in 2000, aged 98, her publishers estimated that she’d published 723 historical-romantic novels. The news that she sold 750 million copies of her books is sometimes greeted with scepticism by British readers who have never seen a single copy on sale in any bookshop; but her fame was undoubtedly global.

Jeremy Paxman with his new beard on Newsnight

What’s all the fuzz about, then? Jeremy Paxman's new beard lights up the Twitterverse

He is renowned for being bristly, but not like this. The Newsnight host’s unexpected facial hair created a social media frenzy, and now has its own Twitter account

Don’t diss my ‘first-world’ problems. It's just rude

I don’t know where it came from, this hierarchy of World Problems, but it irritates me

Restaurant review: Paesan, 2 Exmouth Market, London, EC1

Just how authentically poverty-stricken do you like your Italian supper? Twenty years ago, the River Café introduced us to the concept of cucina rustica, Italian country cooking with its paste-thick bread-and-bean soups, its dark armpitty flavours. Goodness, we thought, these country folk certainly know how to live. Now Paesan, a new north London restaurant, brings us 'cucina povera', which translates, not as 'poverty cooking' but 'peasant cooking'; though its owner, Anthony Brown, founder of the popular Pasta Brown establishment in Covent Garden, steers cautiously around the p-word.

Photocopiers that get figures wrong? iPhones that rewrite texts? The machines are fighting back

The manufacturers blame it on “compression levels” and “resolution settings” but we know better, don’t we? The gloves have come off our supposedly benign electronica

'Child in Berlin' by David Bowie

Art for rock's sake: Among the musical elite, swapping a guitar for a paintbrush comes naturally

What is it with modern musicians and painting? What spurious orthodoxy now decrees that no rock star of note reaches his/her 50th birthday without having an exhibition of scratchy-dauby artworks launched in a major gallery? Did Schubert or Liszt or Beethoven pause in their labours at the keyboard to knock off charming watercolours of the scene from their music-room window? No. Today, you can't throw a paintbrush across Cork Street without hitting another ageing rocker mounting canvases onto a whitewashed wall.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice