Luke Blackall

Luke Blackall edits the i's Caught and Social column.

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The Independent around the web

Man About Town: The world's most expensive mulled wine

How much better could it really be than regular Glühwein?

Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in a scene from August: Osage County

Backstage: Who dares tell Meryl Streep how to act? Step up George Clooney

Film producers face a delicate balancing act between adding their input and not treading on the creative toes of the director, the writer and the actors. It seems Harvey Weinstein has a new tactic: send in George Clooney.

Baby zoom: Bugaboos represent the kind of hi-tech savvy seen in an increasing number of baby products

The rise of goo-goo gadgets: Hey baby, nice wheels!

Pushchairs designed with the kind of precision engineering you'd expect on a sportscar. Babygros that monitor your child 24-7. High chairs that look as though they came from the Apple store. Since when did the nursery get so hi-tech? Dad-to-be Luke Blackall reports on the rise of goo-goo gadgets

Man About Town: Would I make it as a crepe master?

I was delighted to be invited to Covent Garden Piazza, where  champagne house Krug held their pop-up Kreperie

Andy Burrows tested his songs on his daughter, Chloe

Backstage: Snowman pair get a kid’s view from Chloe’s criticism

Between them, they have recorded number one albums and have won awards for scoring soundtracks for Hollywood films. But when it came to looking for a sounding board for their recent Christmas collaboration, Andy Burrows and Ilan Eshkeri turned to a five-year-old girl.

Man about town: I thought I should give cigars a try

Wine and whisky compliment them nicely...

Backstage: No National Theatre top job for Americans, says Kevin Spacey

While the job of England football manager has long been open to foreigners, Kevin Spacey believes that manager of another British institution, the National Theatre, would never be available to an American.

Ed Miliband told Kirsty Young his relationship with brother David was 'healing'

Desert Island Discs: A chance for public to see into political leaders souls

Forget policy proposals, it is the choices made by political leaders on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs that really give the public a chance to see into both their souls and their desire to be seen as accessible.

Backstage: Introducing Gabe Day - just don’t call him Day-Lewis....

Gabe Day has been attracting much attention in the music community this week for his debut rap track. But much of the focus has not been on the new video, but rather the rapper’s full name, Gabriel Day-Lewis (the son of award-winning actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Isabelle Adjani).

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent