Terence Blacker

The writer and broadcaster Terence Blacker contributes a twice-weekly column on a wide range of social, cultural and environmental issues. He is the author of four novels, of prize-winning fiction for children, and has written a highly praised biography of the brilliant reprobate Willie Donaldson.

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Panto dames are in decline, and it’s all down to the spirit of the age

Young actresses playing  Dick Whittington no longer seems quite right

Don’t be an Ed Miliband on Desert Island Discs. Instead choose these eight tracks

The Labour leader has been rightly scorned for music that merely ticked boxes. He could so easily have been a lot less boring…

Review: Stuff I've Been Reading, By Nick Hornby

From North Korea to Lucille Ball, this collection has both charm and smugness

Are you a believer? Lucille Ball in the 1940s

Stuff I've Been Reading, By Nick Hornby: Book review

From North Korea to Lucille Ball, this collection has both charm and smugness

Mixed message: Lily Allen's new video

Real debate vs striking a pose

There's nothing new in celebrities 'speaking out' about controversial issues. But how, asks Terence Blacker, did their half-formed views start to replace real debate?

Hope rather than experience: Young fame-seekers queue for TV talent show auditions

The lost generation: The kids brought up to feel as if they're failing - from school to TV shows like The Apprentice and The X Factor

Privilege, it seems, is not all it’s cracked up to be. As depression besets middle-class youth,  where’s society going wrong?

Your face will soon be scanned by Tesco: How adverts are about to become discriminating

At first glance, the Sugar screen-camera might seem a harmless form of surveillance

Comedian Jo Brand on Have I Got News For You

On Have I Got News For You, what could be safer than a risqué joke about Prince Harry?

The show represents the new establishment, and too often it picks easy targets

Justin Welby wants credit unions to provide an alternative to payday lenders but he says it will take a decade

Action man: Give Justin Welby an issue and he will speak out

He fights the wrongdoings of the payday loaners and now the Big Six – what next?

Burbo Bank off shore wind farm in the mouth of the River Mersey

Terence Blacker: Don’t want a wind farm near you? Well, good luck stopping it

Enthusiasm for wind farms is propelled by financial rewards, not by idealism

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Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past