Marcus Berkmann

Marcus Berkmann is a journalist and author.

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Yes, I plugged my friend’s novel. So what?

Too many Books of the Year contributors are thinking not of their friends, but of their own reputations.

Michael Phelps routinely wears headphones before he swims but is it disrespectful to cheering onlookers?

Marcus Berkmann: Must athletes all wear headphones?

Surely it's not beyond participants to emerge from their bubble briefly

MY BEAUTIFUL LOON

Cleo Rocos was only 15 when she became Kenny Everett's TV muse, and they were inseparable until the comedian's premature death. Now she's written a book about it all. Marcus Berkmann listens to their strange and enduring laughter

Portillo: nice smirk if you can get it; TELEVISION

Anything goes on television in August. Sitcoms about cancer, blatant hour-long ads for the new Oasis album, even filmed reports by Michael Portillo are considered fair game. No wonder everyone flees to foreign parts.

Mrs Cohen for Chancellor of the Exchequer?

TELEVISION

Television: Mrs Cohen for Chancellor of the Exchequer?

We are accustomed to television taking itself far too seriously, so it can come as a shock when it doesn't take itself seriously enough. The opening episode of Mrs Cohen's Money (C4, Monday) began on the roof of a skyscraper, from where Mrs Cohen threw sheaves of banknotes before settling into an irrelevantly placed chintz-covered armchair, complete with lurking standard lamp.

All I want from this election is a new sitcom

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Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing