Sophie Heawood

Sophie Headwood is a journalist who writes for the Times, Independent and Guardian

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Pop Royalty: Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue in 1988, when they dominated the charts

Sophie Heawood: Plastic does decompose but we just won't bury it

Stock Aitken Waterman churned out hit after hit in the 1980s, and a revival concert will show their enduring appeal. Our writer can't kick the habit

Sophie Heawood on graduates: 'We felt pretty sorry for you – until you started moaning.'

Sophie Heawood: Bankers need to discover their inner hunter-gatherer. Bin-grazing will help

You might be forgiven a slight irritation when you hear that Lloyds Banking Group has sent a dozen of its top dogs to Champneys luxury spa to learn how to be "effective hunter-gatherers in the corporate jungle".

Sophie Heawood: Women rarely say, gosh, I've had the baby

I'd never given the American pop star Jessica Simpson much thought before. Nice blond hair, reality TV show origins, some songs I can't remember. Until last week, when she became so fully gestational that all her famous friends started banging on about it. "Has Jessica Simpson had that baby yet?! I'm getting anxious," tweeted fellow pop star Katy Perry. TV presenter Chelsea Handler, recently voted one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine, asked much the same thing, only worse: "How has Jessica Simpson still not given birth to this baby? I'm getting frightened." At the risk of suggesting that a woman who hasn't had a baby might not know as much about the subject as one who has, it is clear that neither Perry nor Handler know what it is to be very, very pregnant.

Sophie Heawood: The baby's screams say it all - we'd much rather be in another supermarket

My friend Wyndham – yes! He's a posho! – went on his inaugural visit to Tesco the other day and came back complaining that he didn't like it, horrible place, why would anyone in their right mind shop there, etc. After I sat him down and patiently explained that we can't all afford Fortnum's, dear, he said he vastly preferred Lidl.

Sophie Heawood: Kanye and Kim, the hottest couple of all time, ever, official

The divorce of Katy Perry and Russell Brand is no bombshell. Brangelina, you'll have to do more than whip out a pasty leg at the Oscars if you wish to stay in our hearts and minds. For lo, there is a new power couple in town, and they've come for your crown. The rapper, producer, and all-round pop warrior Kanye West is stepping out with Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star whose celebrity marriage recently came to a tragic celebrity end after 72 long and hard celebrity days. Kanye and Kim, whose affair will be so intense that it's unlikely to last much beyond August, are the hottest couple of all time, ever. They've been papped eating in restaurants, staying at his apartment, going to the cinema, even going to a toy shop. He's written a song about falling in love with her! She says she likes it! Here's why you need to give a damn:

Sophie Heawood: Let's crown Harry king, and skip all the rest

Pigs do not fly. The sun has not yet burnt out. The cloning of human beings remains more problematic than that of sheep. In short, we remain in a vaguely familiar universe, and yet I find myself looking at pictures of Prince Harry dancing the samba in Rio and experiencing great waves of fondness for him, and thinking that, if we must have a king, can't we skip both Charles and William and put the jewels straight on the ruddy little ginger brother?

Sophie Heawood: 'Allo, 'allo, je suis dans le train et dans le tunnel...

So they're going to make mobile phones work in the Channel Tunnel, which is amusing, seeing as they barely work in Kent, or at least the bit of it you pass through on the Eurostar. In fact, mobile phone coverage is so notoriously patchy on most British train journeys that it will be quite spectacular if the only time it now works perfectly is under the sea in a massively reinforced tube.

Sophie Heawood: Glossy stars aren't meant to go like this

Houston had the lungs of America. Her sheen appeared to fans intrinsic, permanent

Sophie Heawood: Traveller TV - one part cringe, one part inspiration

We are in the middle of a craze for gypsies. My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding is about to return for another series, having apparently given Channel 4 its highest viewing figures in years. Then there's Gypsy Blood, Channel 4's documentary last month about the bare-knuckle fighting culture. Paddy Doherty, a boxer, went on to win Celebrity Big Brother and get a spin-off programme of his own, shacking up with Sally Bercow, wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons. Meanwhile, the supermodel Kate Moss says she loves the gypsy weddings so much that they inspired her own. Then, in the news, we've seen the drawn-out evictions at the traveller site at Dale Farm, near Basildon. There are question marks over a traveller site near the Olympic area in east London. Disturbing reports are coming from Hungary of militias rounding up members of the Roma community.

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada