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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Great openers: everyone remembers the first sentence of Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'

What are the best first lines in fiction?

Novelists say they must write snappier first lines in order to grip today's distracted readers. But the classics can teach us a thing or two about arresting openings, says John Walsh

Camberwell Arms, restaurant review: Hearty and comforting food carried off with panache

A few summers ago, the weirdest pop-up restaurant in London popped up on the roof of a car park. Frank’s Café, as it was called, was the invention of the Hannah Barry Gallery in Peckham. They commissioned a temporary wooden pavilion from the architects Lettice Drake and Paloma Gormley (Antony’s daughter) to go on the roof of Peckham’s multi-storey car park, alongside a sculpture exhibition called Bold Tendencies.

It won't just be the super rich hit by a mansion tax

How will a government assess whether a house has tipped into the £2m bracket?

Iggy Pop was a punk before punk was invented but now the master revivalist is set to take a regular BBC Radio 6Music slot

The wildest of rock’s wild men, the drug fiend’s drug fiend is to be a DJ

Jones & Sons, restaurant review: You'll be more impressed by the charm than the cooking at this theatrical venue

Pitched at the cusp of Kingsland Road and Stoke Newington High Street, bounded to the south by Dalston Junction and to the west by Hackney Downs, Jones & Sons is a new eating house in a groovy part of norf-east London.

Use films to teach history? Only if kids need a lesson in historical half-truths

School children will assume Marie Antoinette wore Manolo Blahniks and Kennedy was shot by the FBI

Crying shame: Gordon Ramsay shed tears after losing two stars last year

Michelin awards: Do the stars still matter?

A French restaurant critic has leaked details of next week's Michelin awards, accusing the guide of losing the plot. But ratings are worth the foodie fallouts, says John Walsh

Crab & Lobster, restaurant review: A masterclass in comfort food

I remember being baffled by a London Transport advertisement from my teenage years, encouraging people to use buses. It appeared on hoardings and bus shelters all over the metropolis, and showed a wretched-looking couple shielding themselves from a downpour at a bus stop while, in the distance, the Number 74 (or whatever) hove into view, lights blazing and driver beaming. The message on the poster read: 'A Welcome Sight on a Dark Night!'.

A packed Westminster cathedral

The Francis Factor: Why worshippers are returning to Catholic churches

Former altar boy John Walsh explains just what it is the lapsed are returning to

You say lateral frontal pole, I say that little devil/angel that whispers in my ear

Without recognising it, Oxford scientists appear to have located the consience

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas