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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn