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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam