Simon Usborne

Simon Usborne is a features writer at The Independent and i.

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The Independent around the web
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

Are Bert and Ernie really a gay couple?

After a Christian bakery refused to make a gay wedding cake with their faces on, Simon Usbourne asks if the muppet friends are gay
Witchell has a reputation for being difficult and irritable, to the extent that his colleagues reportedly once nicknamed him 'the poisoned carrot'

Nicholas Witchell has been reporting on the Royal Family for 15 years - wouldn't he rather swap the front of the Palace for the front line?

Witchell is every inch the royal guy – a model of diplomacy and discretion shuttling between palaces, walkabouts and occasional scandals. Does such commitment to a singular specialism explain why he views his career trajectory as flatter than Jeremy Paxman's, his one-time understudy?

Sweet sensation: New Zealand beehives

The manuka honey scandal

Manuka honey is ever more prized for its health benefits. But with more being sold than is actually produced, is there some dodgy dealing going on?

Hello Dolly: Parton at Glasto

Glastonbury 2014: So who's Jolene?

Dolly Parton brought the house down when she told the tale of the woman who inspired her greatest hit. But is it a true story or a bit of country stardust?
If Saurez bit Chiellini it will be his third such transgression

World Cup 2014: Much to chew over after latest Luis Suarez outburst

Fifa considers a ban on Uruguay’s biting striker as sponsors distance themselves from a damaged career 

Time, gentlemen please: the Wheel Inn, Findern’s last pub, is being turned into a funeral directors

Derbyshire village launches "casks not caskets" campaign to stop pub becoming funeral directors

Simon Usborne raises a glass to community-run boozers
On locations: Ed Parsons at Google’s London HQ

The man who's making Google Maps smarter

Google Maps has changed the way we navigate, poked its cameras into our lives – and come close to sparking border conflict. Simon Usborne meets the geography fanatic who is the tech giant's mapping evangelist
Clean living: Bronner, 41, took over the business when his father died of cancer in 1998

How a hemp-clad hippie turned Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap into an unlikely commercial hit

Fans of Bronner's Fair Trade soap include Gwyneth Paltrow and Eminem

Unjust for Turing, unjust for 50,000 others

As the Pet Shop Boys call for pardons for thousands of gay men with historic convictions for 'gross indecency', Simon Usborne finds that the repressive laws are still blighting lives today
West End Boys: Neil Tennant (left) and Chris Lowe of The Pet Shop Boys are performing at the Proms

Unjust for Alan Turing, unjust for the 50,000 others: Pet Shop Boys call for mass pardon for 'gross indecency' convictions

As the Pet Shop Boys call for pardons for thousands of gay men with historic convictions for 'gross indecency', Simon Usborne finds that the repressive laws are still blighting lives today

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil