Natalie Haynes

Natalie is a guest contributor for The Independent and writes. She was a guest contributor for The Times from 2006 - 2010. She has also written for The Guardian, The Observer, The Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and The Big Issue. She writes a monthly film column for The Reader's Digest magazine.

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The regulations could come into force next year

Why would plain packaging stop anyone’s craving for a cigarette?

If people can put up with having to stand out in the rain to smoke, they’ll put up with this

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards

Posh men and suffering women – roll up, roll up to this year’s Baftas!

Hopefully next year, there might be a few roles for women that aren't so stereotypical

Pope Francis gestures during his audience with members of the Schoenstatt movement at the Paul VI hall on October 25, 2014 at the Vatican

God isn't 'a magician with a magic wand', according to the Pope, and there are non-believing vicars

Perhaps gods need to evolve to survive, just like the rest of us

The Amazons: Lives & Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor, book review

There are myriad myths surrounding the Amazons, but which are based on truth?
The relief, once known as the Elgin Marbles, are now housed in the British Museum

The Elgin Marbles: Could returning them be the thin end of the repatriation wedge?

Returning ancient art to its homeland would certainly set a risky precedent

There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

The number of people buying tickets has increased by 700 per cent since 2009. But stand-up Natalie Haynes explains why it’s still a tough gig

Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor by Adrian Goldsworthy, book review

More images of Augustus survive than of any other human being in the ancient world. Rome's first emperor ruled for over 40 years, establishing a quasi-monarchic system (in place of the fading Republic) which lasted for centuries. He and his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, have given their names to our summer months, and he has been played onscreen by no less an actor than Brian Blessed.

Martin Freeman as Richard III

Martin Freeman, Richard III, and theatre etiquette

Martin Freeman’s Richard III is attracting a new - and rowdier - audience, theatregoers complain. Don’t shush them, says Natalie Haynes, this is how theatre should be

Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind by Edith Hall, book review

A new guide to the ancient Greeks details many neglected, diverse achievements. Sci-fi, anyone?
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot