Simon Usborne

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

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In it for life: Vivian Boyack and Alice Dubes, aged 91 and 90, who married last weeekend

The romance of late-life weddings

The story of an elderly gay couple who tied the knot after 72 years together warmed hearts the world over. Simon Usborne looks at long waits before marriage
Customers buying liquor from a government shop in Kerala

Could alcohol prohibition work in Kerala?

The Indian state of Kerala hopes to curb a growing 'drinking culture' with prohibition. But, wonders Simon Usborne, has this drastic solution ever had the desired effect?
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow

First Essex and Yorkshire, now London: Channel 4's 'Educating...' series is moving to the East End

The show is turning its cameras on Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow. Simon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series being filmed

Rock on: the Piccadilly branch of the Hard Rock Café

The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Simon Usborne joins the queue at the original restaurant to find out

Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
The road to nowhere

On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

For one day only, a full bus service replete with 10 London Routemasters is laid on to an abandoned village in the middle of the Salisbury Plain

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Madame Tussauds is still thriving more than 230 years after Marie Tussaud made a wax Voltaire in 1777. Simon Usborne explains its centuries-old appeal

More than meets the pie: Greggs showed how to turn a gaffe into social media gold

Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Board change: US players have 5,000 new words to play with

Scrabble expert Allan Simmons: 'We're not adding words like 'chillax' and 'po' to the players' dictionary for the sake of it'

Bromance, buzzkill, hashtag and frenemy also appear on a list of 5,000 additions to the new Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary, published by American dictionary giant Merriam-Webster. Here, Allan Simmons explains what the point is
An advert tempting pet owners to send their furry loved ones into space

Heavenly Bodies: Space funerals for pets

Want Fido to have a memorial the family will remember? A company that blasts human ashes into space is now offering to propel beloved pets. Simon Usborne reports
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Day In a Page

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
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?