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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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

Fifa has created a World Cup so costly and authoritarian that hundreds of thousands of Brazilians have protested against it
Blatter had been addressing the African and Asian confederations’ congress

Here's to Sepp Blatter! The most repulsive man in football

The FIFA president has even managed to turn the Brazilian people off football. Next up, it’ll be the Martians...

A celebrated image of a man trying to stop the tanks entering the square

China’s censorship of Tiananmen Square isn’t oppression – it’s just a new kind of extreme counselling

This demand to forget fosters a whole new way of thinking

Nigel Farage masks worn at the spring conference

If you can't beat Nigel Farage, become him

Suddenly everyone wants to talk about immigration. It’s going to be hard to beat Ukip at this game, though.

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