Robert Hanks

Robert Hanks is a freelance writer and broadcaster.

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The Independent around the web

Scruffy, picky, sexless – but we love pandas

Edinburgh Zoo has been getting frantic about the possibility its pandas will mate

Robert Hanks: Prince Harry, Rupert Murdoch, and the family ties that bind

Prince Harry wasn’t the only one breaking the rigid family rules last week

Last Night's TV: Criminal Justice, BBC1

It could be a real killer on this evidence

The Week In Radio

Different ways of doing the Lambeth talk

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (PG)

Charlie and the dream factory

Arts: THE WEEK IN RADIO

IT'S A neat - but, I'm fairly confident, accidental - piece of scheduling that has brought Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy to the air in the same week as Proust's A la Recherche du Temps Perdu: two great novels about the difficulty of remembering, and the difficulty of turning what we remember into stories, which both model the workings of the mind through digression, association and repetition. Another thing they have in common, by the way, is that the narrator is asthmatic.

Arts: THE WEEK IN RADIO

ONE OF the minor irritations that will one day drive me to live in Tunbridge Wells, a place where they understand disgust, is the line from the Franz Ferdinand song "The Dark of the Matinee" that goes: "So I'm on BBC2 now, telling Terry Wogan how I made it..." Because, obviously, Terry Wogan was always on BBC1, if we're talking about his long-defunct chat show, and if we're talking about his radio career, it's called Radio 2 and he doesn't do celebrity interviews anyway. I mean, it's not as if any of this is classified information.

First Night: Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 4

The cream of the Z-list grasps chance to revive careers

Arts: The incredible shrinking box

The number of good ideas among television executives has dwindled to `endangered species' levels. Is there anything new to look forward to in next year's schedules?

Television Review

CHRISTMAS TIME is, of course, the season of goodwill, a time to mull over the things that bind us together, rather than those that divide us. And there's no better vehicle for reminding us of this than The Royle Family (Christmas Day BBC1). Granted, it has its cruel moments, mocking jokes that appeal to the Roman circus spectator in all of us - such as the clan's outburst of united mirth at young Anthony's revelation that his girlfriend's family play parlour games at Christmas ("Is their telly broke?" Denise wondered).
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Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea