Mark Steel

Commentator and stand-up comedian Mark Steel has presented several radio and television programmes, and appeared on Have I Got News for You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. In 2006 he published 'Vive La Revolution: A Stand-up History of the French Revolution', and in 2000 stood as a candidate in the London Assembly elections.

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A fighter from the Free Syrian Army fires rounds into the air on August 21, 2012, during the funeral of 17-year old Ahmed Hamoudi

Arming people and bombing them at the same time: that’s some strategy

Could the West be any more confused over Iraq and Syria?

“We should be offering them [the ‘very, very rich’] humble and hearty thanks,” said the Mayor in his Telegraph column

Boris's bumbling persona and family fortune can help drag Britain back to the future

As he’s on the rise, the others will try to copy him; Clegg will be cheeky Cockney and Miliband outrageously camp

How silly of me to assume it was Israeli bombs causing all the damage in Gaza

It’s clearly just a batch of explosive toasters

Palestinians run for shelter as they hear bombing in the distance while they flee their homes in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, after Israel had airdropped leaflets warning people to leave the area
Sami Khedira of Germany runs past Oscar of Brazil with the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Semi Final match between Brazil and Germany

If they weren't obsessed with instant profits, England could have a team as good as Germany’s

A bit of forward thinking can go a long way

A view of a favela in Rio de Janeiro

Fifa wasn't going to let favelas ruin a wonderful World Cup — it just bulldozed them instead

Why should such a great spectacle be ruined by the sight of common people?

Luis Suarez

World Cup 2014: Any chance of a sense of perspective on events in Brazil?

I mean – Luis Suarez isn’t really worse than al-Qa’ida, is he?

The World Cup punditry has become so careful that the pundits say little of interest because they have been so well media trained

Mark Steel on World Cup 2014: There’s only way to save punditry from oblivion – ditch the footballers and choose at random from the electoral register

Ed Miliband needs to learn from Phil Neville. Because Phil’s commentating style was so lacking in passion that the Manaus stadium could have burned down on Saturday, and as the fans fled in terror Phil would have said: “Well, that’s what flames can do. If you leave them unmarked. Quite hot there now. Lots of stuff melting. Not what you want to see as a manager.”

BBC pundit Phil Neville was roundly criticised for his commentary last week

How to save punditry – ditch the footballers and choose at random from the electoral register

Amateur pundits would truly capture the country's passion and excitement

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Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment