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

Snow says: 'Alex Salmond has made nationalism sound progressive. but it's not It's an absolute curse'

Dan Snow: The TV historian on Scottish nationalism and why getting drunk must be planned with military precision

There's an extraordinary appetite for anniversaries The 70th anniversary of D-Day has had enormous interest and record audience interactions. I do a lot of history in the off years – when there's no Battle of Waterloo anniversary – and there's less interest. What is it about anniversaries that sharpens the mind? Perhaps it's how we mark our own [passing of the] years.

Hodges (left in picture) says: 'Me and Dave have endured not only because we're great musicians, but because we know how to entertain'

Painter Celia Paul: Lucian Freud's ex-lover tussles with ideas of uniqueness and identity

To help establish herself as an artist, she sent her child by Lucian Freud to be raised by her own mother. So with her latest exhibition, has the painter Celia Paul found the individuality she has sought all her life?
Since her arrival at Westminster in 2010, Stella Creasy has been anointed by consensus as one of the brightest lights of Labour's new generation

Stella Creasy: Could the Wonga-baiting, indie-loving MP tweet her way to No 10?

The MP for Walthamstow is tipped for a bright future on the Labour front benches, maybe even as leader...provided that she can take her eye off her phone for long enough

How does Tom Wilkinson - star of The Patriot, Valkyrie and Belle - maintain a low profile?

In a movie universe dominated by ageless action heroes and charmless juvenile leads, Wilkinson is an authentic grown-up, says John Walsh

Melvin Bragg, a profilic novelist and broadcaster, best known for his work on ‘The South Bank Show’

Melvyn Bragg: A Northern hero in our time

At 74, one of Britain’s great polymaths is still broadcasting prolifically, and still helping to set the news agenda

Grumpy old man: Rod Liddle at 54 - if he is miserable, he certainly wrings a lot of satifaction from talking about it

Rod Liddle gives his critics plenty of reasons to dislike him - but why does he seem to loathe himself so much?

His eventful journey from working-class Middlesbrough to star editor of the Today programme to hatchet-man columnist for the right-wing media – garnished with a colourful private life and accusations of racism – guaranteed that his semi-autobiographical new book would cause a fuss
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life

Vivienne Westwood on fashion and fracking: ‘Who are the people who run the world? I’ll tell you...’

The Chris Blackhurst Interview: A fashion guru with a conscience, Vivienne Westwood is convinced that vested interests are behind the fracking revolution – and she wants them exposed

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'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering