Rob Sharp

Rob Sharp is a freelance journalist specialising in arts and culture. He was on staff at The Independent from July 2007 to December 2011, first as a features writer, and then as the paper’s arts correspondent. He has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines. For more information visit his website, www.robsharp.com or email him at rs@robsharp.com.

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Why do adults read children's books? Blame modern life

From commuters absorbed by Harry Potter books to the wide appeal of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, the mystery of why some grown-ups like reading children's books may finally be solved. Adults are hacked off with the disappointment of modern life.

Why the Royal Opera House set up shop in Essex

A 46-year-old electrician from Thurrock, Essex, stands in a school music room, breathes deeply, then blasts out Verdi's 1853 opera Il Trovatore.

How the Royal Opera House helped a suburb find its voice

Rob Sharp visits a community choir as it takes the stage at Covent Garden

Still life after death: Freud's final work to go on display

The late painter Lucian Freud won fame for his unflinching eye for detail. And with his 2011 work Portrait of the Hound – unmistakably Freud, apart from a small section of its canvas left unpainted – he concluded his career with the same formidable intensity that had earlier won him millions of fans.

Former chancellor Alistair Darling says he may quit politics

The former chancellor Alistair Darling rebuffed an approach by Labour leader Ed Miliband to join the Shadow Cabinet, telling him he was "worn out". He also hinted that he may decide to leave politics for good next year.

Darling: I rejected chance to join Miliband's team

Former Chancellor sheds light on present – and past at the Woodstock Literary Festival

Tate attendant wins unfair dismissal case

The Tate unfairly dismissed a gallery attendant because it did not properly investigate her allegations of bullying by managers, an employment tribunal ruled yesterday.

Tate gallery attendant, 61, claims unfair dismissal

The Tate sacked a gallery attendant following a row over her leaving her seat to chat to a security guard, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.

End of the hit parade: Pop art hero dies

He is known as the "father of Pop Art", the man whose White Album cover for The Beatles was the first not to use their likenesses and a man who more recently caused a stir with his political imagery of Tony Blair dressed like a cowboy.

Gallery buys Wintour portrait

A portrait of American Vogue's formidable editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London for £125,000.

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Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
Fifa corruption: The officials are caught in the web of US legal imperialism - where double standards don't get in the way

Caught in the web of legal imperialism

The Fifa officials ensnared by America's extraterritorial authority are only the latest examples of this fearsome power, says Rupert Cornwell
Bruce Robinson: Creator of Withnail and I on his new book about Jack the Ripper

'Jack the Ripper has accrued a heroic aura. But I'm going after the bastard'

The deaths of London prostitutes are commonly pinned on a toff in a top hat. But Bruce Robinson, creator of Withnail and I, has a new theory about the killer's identity
Simon Stephens interview: The playwright on red-blooded rehearsals, disappointing his children - and why plays are like turtles

Simon Stephens interview

The playwright on red-blooded rehearsals, disappointing his children - and why plays are like turtles
Holidaying with a bike nut: Cycling obsessive Rob Penn convinces his wife to saddle up

Holidaying with a bike nut

Cycling obsessive Rob Penn convinces his wife to saddle up
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef pays homage to South-east Asia's palate-refreshing desserts

Bill Granger's fruity Asian desserts

Our chef's refreshing desserts are a perfect ending to a spicy, soy-rich meal
Fifa presidential election: What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison