Simon Usborne

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

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Pundit: comedian Simon Brodkin will host tonight’s war of words

The inaugural UK Pun Championships will kick off tonight - it's punbelievable that we've never had one before...

Whatever your tolerance for silly one-liners, puns are really groan on us. You could say we are in the grip of a global pun-demic. Indeed, if the pun is to wordplay, as William Safire, the late New York Times writer said, "what dominatrix sex is to foreplay – a stinging whip that elicits groans of guilty pleasure" then we have rarely been keener gluttons for pun-ishment.

The snow man: Alain Baxter competing at the Turin Winter Olympic Games in 2006

Alain Baxter: Britain's first medal winner on snow?

Jenny Jones was awarded an historic Olympic bronze this week but did Alain Baxter get there first? Simon Usborne talks to the skiier about his medal in Salt Lake City and that infamous cold remedy.

Blizzard king: UK skier James Woods, one of the favourites to win the ski slope-style event, trains in Sochi

Leaping with the enemy: There's not much sign of the Olympic spirit in the bitter rivalry between snowboarders and skiers at Sochi

Jake Burton's entourage is a huddle of public-relations reps who blur the line between professionalism and awestruck fandom. They sit in the corner of an apartment in the Swiss resort of Laax as Burton appears from somewhere upstairs, like a mountain deity. Hands are shaken.

The night the house came down: the scene at the Apollo Theatre after the ceiling collapse

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: The show must go on

When the Apollo Theatre’s ceiling collapsed last year, its big production was left homeless. Now, it’s playing to a full house of rather surprised school children

Award: 'Archers' star June Spencer

June Spencer: a life in Ambridge

She may be the longest-running character on the world's most durable soap, but June Spencer rarely gets recognised – and that's just fine by her, she tells Simon Usborne

Wood toured Iraq in 2003 and 2004, and Afghanistan in 2007

We must not exaggerate the dangers of cycling

Jeremy Vine's article only reinforced a sense of conflict, and didn't include safety facts

Film director Martin Scorsese with his daughter Francesca

Martin Scorsese's open letter to his 14-year-old daughter Francesca

The film director's letter sees him excited about the future of film – and her career in movies. Talk about pressure, says Simon Usborne

The best of Lech: skiing the surrounding pistes

Revel in Lech's low-key luxury

This exclusive Austrian resort might not be cheap, but your hand-me-down salopettes won't look out of place and the skiing is hard to beat, says Simon Usborne

Sherlock Holmes portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series

Sherlock Holmes and the case of copyright

A long-running legal battle in the United States could change the way Sherlock Holmes and other characters are portrayed in future books and films

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A shot in the dark

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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments