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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Philip Hensher: A politician's wealth is fascinating, but it's not necessarily our business

How gripping it would be to discover how much one’s friends and enemies made last year

Philip Hensher: The Swedes have the right idea on binge drinking

The authorities should deny all supermarkets an alcohol licence. Let it be sold through specialist outlets

Philip Hensher: Against gay marriage? Too late, it's already here

I don’t know a single person in a civil partnership who doesn’t refer to themselves as being married

Philip Hensher: Is it a castle – or is it just a source of capital?

The mansion tax strikes hard at something close to the English heart. Houses are extensions of the self
Crime scene: the London tower block where Kristy Bamu was murdered

Philip Hensher: We turn up our music to cover the screams

The horrible thing about the murder of 15-year-old Kristy Bamu is that so many people were aware of it as it took its four-day course. Kristy's sister, Magalie Bamu, and her partner, Eric Bikubi, lived in a flat on the eighth floor. Kristy and two of his sisters were visiting from Paris at Christmas, 2010. After a few days, Bikubi decided that they were possessed by devils, and carried out a brutal improvised "exorcism", at the end of which Kristy was left pleading to be allowed to die. His body bore the marks of 101 separate injuries.

Philip Hensher: Of Blackadder and white women of a certain age

There are voices out there which traditional media neglect through their age, ethnicity, culture, sexuality

Philip Hensher: All very well in a gallery, but can you imagine living with the icon of urban depression?

A City acquaintance had a Damien Hirst medicine cabinet, to the occasional confusion of his guests

Philip Hensher: Do you want an experience or just to film it?

Sarah Millican is right. It's theft, as much as if you went into Waterstones and photocopied a new novel

Philip Hensher: My solution to the Falklands problem: sell them

I doubt we have much stomach for another war in the south Atlantic. And we need the money

Philip Hensher: Sergei Polunin and a lesson for Labour

Institutions need stars, and stars don't necessarily like institutions
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Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices