So Sir Alex Ferguson finally stopped all the clocks. Jon Snow took himself up to Chester racecourse, where the old nag was supposed to be, to cover the biggest story of the day for Channel 4 News. He was accused of downgrading the Queen's Speech and vilified with as much venom as the Prince of Darkness himself might have unleashed. Meanwhile Fergie had done a neat side-step, Cristiano-style, and was nowhere to be seen. From the other end of the sofa came the comment: "Bloody hell, it's not like the Queen's abdicated" – although as she tuned into the news, she might have considered it. Except that the one person who could run the country instead of her had just headed for the Highlands himself.
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Tuesday 01 March 2011
Wednesday 26 January 2011
The candid and dark poetry of Jo Shapcott, which draws on the poet's recent battle with cancer, has walked away as the surprise winner of this year's Costa Book of the Year.
Thursday 07 October 2010
"We're bringing transparency to government," David Cameron said yesterday. Maybe. But the Conservatives are certainly not being transparent about the health of their own party. There has been no confirmation or denial of the interesting claim by the editor of the ConservativeHome website, Tim Montgomerie, that party membership has declined by 80,000 under David Cameron's leadership.
Friday 17 September 2010
"The great thing about playing this festival is that there's music to fill any awkward silences," says Shappi Khorsandi of the jazz pleasantly leaking from an adjacent tented venue. Khorsandi, however, is not one for leaving silences; she's ever effervescent and with all the more reason to be these days, thanks to a growing audience, in part swelled by TV appearances that range from Friday Night with Jonathan Ross to Question Time.
Wednesday 25 August 2010
Monday 28 June 2010
Anyone with a heart during Thursday's Question Time on BBC1 will have found themselves toying with the remote, pondering whether the act of watching constituted an intrusion into private grief. The post-Budget agony manifested by Vince Cable was better suited to a renaissance painting of Christ on the cross than a chat with David Dimbleby.
Thursday 20 May 2010
In the most startling reinvention this industry has known in decades, the Daily Mail shrugs off its reactionary stereotype to host an intriguingly hybrid social experiment. The pit canary here is the magnificently prolific Liz Jones, who single-handedly spearheads two major breakthroughs – the first recorded case of Mr Cameron's Big Society in action, and the inaugural deployment of a newspaper column as care in the community. As many of you will know, Liz likes to keep the readership minutely informed of life, latterly dwelling on the £150,000 debt she says has depressed her even more than her rejection by the Somerset neighbours who took mystifying umbrage at being depicted as toothless imbeciles. "Being in debt," wrote Liz, "is worse than anything I have experienced." Given what Liz has experienced – and short of alien abduction, bless her, what has she not? – that's going some. "When you have no money people assume it's because you are lazy or profligate." The rank injustice. The very idea that a woman who spent £26,000 on a bat sanctuary, and lavishes more than £1,000 a year on mineral water, tends towards the wasteful!
Wednesday 19 May 2010
The name of Peters Fraser & Dunlop, one of Britain's oldest literary agencies, is set to disappear after the company was taken over by the public relations executive Matthew Freud and agent Michael Foster.
Thursday 13 May 2010
Sunday 09 May 2010
Was it a virus? Something weirdly gender-specific that incapacitated women for the duration of the election campaign? Day after day I turned on the television to find men interviewing men, men arguing with men, and men sitting on panels with men.
Wednesday 21 April 2010
Yesterday, at The Tories' morning press conference... there wasn't a Tory press conference yesterday. This is so clever they'll be talking about it in a decade. What were the Conservatives doing, withdrawing from the campaign at a moment of existential threat? "Ah," a wise strategist will say (probably Oliver Letwin, on the brink of retirement), "It's too early to tell."
Sunday 14 March 2010
Deborah Ross: 'The big news from the catwalks is that sometimes bags are large and sometimes they are not so large'
Saturday 13 March 2010
If you ask me, now that the London, Milan, Paris and New York fashion shows are over, you need someone to distil all the latest trends for you and, although I didn't initially think I was the right person for that, I took myself aside and told myself not to be so silly. It's a good job I was around, actually, as no one else would have taken the time and trouble.
Monday 15 February 2010
- 1 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 2 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 3 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 4 Exclusive: Championship clubs set to push for safe-standing trials
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