Philip Hensher

Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Exeter, Philip Hensher was among Granta 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. The author of six novels, a collection of short stories and an opera libretto, he has won numerous prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Stonewall Journalist of the Year. His 2008 novel, 'The Northern Clemency', was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. A regular presence in the British media, alongside his Wednesday column for The Independent, he writes for The Spectator and Mail on Sunday.

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(Top row) Akhtar Dogar, Anjum Dogar, Kamar Jamil; (Bottom row) Assad Hussain, Bassam Karrar, Mohammed Karrar and Zeeshan Ahmed

The Oxford sex ring shows how the sexual manners of a new place can be tragically misinterpreted

What drove these men was deracination: a detachment from one culture, and a failure to attach or understand another. They believed they could get away with it

September babies have an advantage in education - and that's just the way schools like it

What these findings really indicate is how much education – and the testing of achievement – has been run by institutions for the benefit of institutions

The scars of Bangladesh’s birth have yet to heal

The Pakistani army tried to cripple the new nation by murdering those who might become leaders

Value for money? The arts have nothing to fear

It makes money; it develops projects; it creates high earners, as well as employing large numbers of dedicated people who work for almost nothing

The rich have a duty to spend extravagantly

I take my hat off to the lottery winners who decided to splash their cash around

Hear that? From Adele to Mantel, 2013 has been played out to the sound of women rising

We have come a long way since days when nobody would buy a girl band's records

The joy of the Rijksmuseum: A museum mustn’t be afraid of being boring

Museums are about more than plunging you into a holistic version of the past

Do we really want pop stars from public school?

Music has been affected by a political conspiracy that assumes that the creative arts are just for the rich or the posh

Laugh at Cardinal Keith O'Brien, but not his victims

Plus: If an Ivon Hitchens painting can fetch a six-figure sum, the long-expected crash in the value of art looks a long way off

It’s a miracle that any opera ever gets performed

Opera is an extraordinary thing, and its triumphs rest, like no other art form, on the physical and musical capacities of very rare individuals

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Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
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The 'Black Museum'

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Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

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Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

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Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
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Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all