Witchell has a reputation for being difficult and irritable, to the extent that his colleagues reportedly once nicknamed him 'the poisoned carrot'

Nicholas Witchell has been reporting on the Royal Family for 15 years - wouldn't he rather swap the front of the Palace for the front line?

Witchell is every inch the royal guy – a model of diplomacy and discretion shuttling between palaces, walkabouts and occasional scandals. Does such commitment to a singular specialism explain why he views his career trajectory as flatter than Jeremy Paxman's, his one-time understudy?

Iraq’s once exiled opposition leader, Ahmed Chalabi, is being touted as its next prime minister

Ahmed Chalabi: Right man, wrong time for Iraq's once-exiled opposition leader?

He is being touted as country's next prime minister. But could his controversial record rule him out?

Jimmy Savile admitted getting knighthood was 'a relief because it got me off the hook'

In the light of details about sexual abuse and macabre acts that emerged from an inquiry into Jimmy Savile last week, this compelling and disquieting interview by the celebrated journalist  Lynn Barber takes on new meaning. We run it in full for the first time since it was published in 1990 in The Independent on Sunday

John Burnside: The poet opens up about his father's cruelty, the hurtfulness of language – and why he walked away from love

I always wanted to be a painter I loved painting. I went on three different art courses but had no talent whatsoever. On the third one, the teacher said to me, "I hear you're a poet?" I said yes, and he said, "I think you should stick to it; put it this way, you're never going to be Cézanne."

Second coming of Nigel Lawson: The former Chancellor on fracking, global warming and why David Cameron has blown it in Europe

Three decades after his glory years as Margaret Thatcher’s longest-serving Chancellor, the irrepressible Lord Lawson is revelling in his political twilight

Kirstie Allsopp: 'They say 'she is retrograde, backward-thinking'. F**k off, I am a feminist'

Housing policy, university, Christmas presents and now childbirth... Kirstie Allsopp's opinions are front page news. So, is the property expert refreshingly frank, or is there calculation behind her candour?

Ice Cube: Former NWA rapper on playing a cop, ignoring the FBI, and career advice for his son

"I don't like bad cops, I don't like abusive cops. I definitely don't like crooked cops. I like cops that do their job, that care, that give a damn"

More than reflected glory: Hannah Arterton

Hannah Arterton steps out of sister Gemma's shadow with Walking on Sunshine starring role

The 1980s-pop-soaked musical is aiming to be this summer's Mamma Mia!

John Swinney, in his office at Holyrood, has pursued a free Scotland since he joined the SNP at 15

John Swinney interview on Scottish independence: Can we go it alone and pay our way? Of course we can

The Chris Blackhurst Interview: He’s the man charged with making an independent Scotland economically viable. And he’s got an answer for anyone who doubts whether that’s possible

Maggie Gyllenhaal: The actress on switching accents, Middle East politics and going blonde

There are never many excellent projects Every year there are a few and you just hope you can be lucky enough to be involved in them. I feel like I've had maybe two or three projects in my life that have been extraordinary. And then other times you're just trying to find a way through something that's slightly less than extraordinary… But that's OK. That's how we all live!

Phil Collins and the other members of Genesis are reuniting for a BBC2 documentary called 'Genesis: Together and Apart'

Phil Collins: The King Lear of pop music

He’s the rock god who refuses to retire. Perhaps he’s still searching for the critical acclaim he feels he’s been denied

Lord Bilimoria had the idea for a beer that went well with curry when he was a student at Cambridge

Lord Bilimoria: ‘There will be an Asian Prime Minister of this country in my lifetime’

The Chris Blackhurst Interview: The founder of Cobra Beer is adamant that recruiting foreign students for higher education is the future of the UK

Hodges (left in picture) says: 'Me and Dave have endured not only because we're great musicians, but because we know how to entertain'
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Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
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Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
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Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
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‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

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