Sophie Headwood is a journalist who writes for the Times, Independent and Guardian
02 February 2012 12:00 AM
29 January 2012 12:00 AM
The television drama Call the Midwife, with its Sunday night BBC1 slot and 10 million viewers, has become what they call A Surprise Hit. I am not sure why. Not why it is a hit as it's a brilliant bit of telly, but why it should be a surprise. I can see why a programme called "Call the Accountant" might not set the ratings alight, unless it was about getting raided in the Seventies for siphoning pop stars' earnings into offshore bank accounts and Quaaludes. "Call the Postal Worker" doesn't quite have that ring of emergency to it. And "Call the Information Resources Centre Strategy Consultant" is too long to trend on Twitter. But midwives, in this case, bicycling through the East End fog in the Fifties, are at the centre of the maddest action possible. People sprouting out of other people from between their legs, having grown suspended in liquid, now entering the world to get their first taste of the addictive drug that is air. Humans at both their smallest and their most impactful. Half-naked women, so tired, so strong. It's not exactly dull.
01 January 2012 12:00 AM
It's a clever thing that this Queen of ours does, handing out her honours as Christmas podges into New Year, December yawns into January, and a new year beckons us with its cold and merciless eyes. If ever there was a time of year when republicanism is doomed to fail, this is it. If I were the monarchy, I'd scrap those trifling birthday honours in June altogether, and make it all about 1 January. Doomsday.
27 November 2011 12:00 AM
16 November 2011 12:00 AM
10 November 2011 12:00 AM
01 November 2011 12:00 AM
The idea that you would go through such a procedure when nothing is wrong is staggering
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Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
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