Robert Hanks

Robert Hanks is a freelance writer and broadcaster.

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Books: Los Angeles, put simply and horribly

PAPERBACKS

Television Review

WHAT MOST people don't appreciate is the sheer inconvenience caused by having Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). On Horizon: Mistaken Identity (BBC2), Sue explained that she had up to 10 different personalities (you wouldn't have thought it was something you could be so vague about). Apart from everyday bickering about what to eat and where to go, she had more dislocating experiences: once, she came back from holiday to discover that one of her "alters" had chucked in her old job for a new one, and Sue didn't even have her new office address.

Television Review

WHAT I always say is: "Where there's muck, there's meta-phors." Towards the end of Modern Times: Treasures from the Tip (BBC2), Jason Jones, a waste-management officer for Southend-on-Sea, remarked: "You do start getting some funny ideas... the fact that all these goods that we get during our lives, and work for, end up in a hole in the ground. It's like us at the end of the day."

Television Review: Small Potatoes

RIGHT, I'VE got this straight now: the programme about testicular cancer was part of a new series on Channel 4 called Embarrassing Illnesses. Small Potatoes (C4) was something entirely different: a sitcom - no, let's get the jargon right - a slackcom about "an underachieving video-shop assistant". That's as opposed to all the driven, focused video-shop assistants you come across.

Television Review

After I reviewed Staying Lost (C4) three weeks ago, a reader who works nights in a hostel in King's Cross wrote to scold me for my scepticism, suggesting that the reason I had a problem with the series was that I couldn't bear to believe it.

Television Review

TELEVISION HAS tended in recent years towards an unsentimental, "red in tooth and claw" view of nature, and just lately it has been getting worse. We've had a proliferation of dangerous wildlife programmes - O'Shea's

Television Review: EastEnders

TELEVISION, WHICH you would think was the supreme here-and-now medium, is obsessed with the idea that things ain't what they used to be. Everyone is trying to re-create the past. On last night's EastEnders (BBC1), Melanie was trying to recapture the magic with Steve; Ricky and Sam were waxing nostalgic about what everybody seems to agree was an appalling marriage; and Mark was getting misty-eyed over his ex-wife.

Television Review

LET'S START with the good news: and that is that advertisers don't actually sidle up to six-year-olds in the playground and say "Here's a fiver - nag your mum". The bad news is that this is about the only thing they don't do.

Television Review

LET'S START with the good news: and that is that advertisers don't actually sidle up to six-year-olds in the playground and say "Here's a fiver - nag your mum". The bad news is that this is about the only thing they don't do.

Television Review

ONCE THE Vikings roamed the whale-road in their longships, seeking new lands and strange adventures, plunder and a good death. It was in that spirit that, in Secrets of the Ancients (BBC2), Robin Knox-Johnston and a crew of Norwegian archaeologists set sail in the longship Borgundknarren across the North Sea to Shetland - trusting, like their Viking ancestors, to the winds to drive them, the sun to steer them. Plus, obviously, an engine for when the wind was in the wrong direction and a satellite navigation system for when they got lost.
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Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing