Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh was only meant to work on Coronation Street for two months. Her character was intended as little more than a gimmick to help the Manchester-based soap opera compete in the ratings battle with then-dominant EastEnders. Fifteen years later, her character’s story has finally come to a close, and with it, one of soap’s most enduring and touching romances: that of oddball Roy and his kind-hearted wife, Hayley.
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Friday 16 January 2009
Unless you've been living under a rock, you can't have missed the furore surrounding the atheist ad campaign cooked up by the comedian Ariane Sherine and supported by Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association, which has seen London buses plastered with the statement, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life". They brought to mind the work of one S Mark Gubb, who had the idea of subverting the Church's proselytising posters a long time ago – and to far more striking and amusing effect.
Wednesday 14 January 2009
How much longer can "Thought for the Day" continue on Radio 4's Today programme? That little slot of sanctimony before the 8am news bulletin – only two minutes and 45 second in duration but always seeming so very much longer – is again being targeted by secularists, who politely suggest it should either widen its remit to include non-religious contributors, or shut up shop altogether.
Sunday 16 November 2008
<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/by-john-rento-7.html">John Rentoul: The Godbotherer vote</a>
Wednesday 29 October 2008
Alarming stuff for us heathens in a ComRes opinion poll for Theos, the "public theology think tank". It would seem that 20 per cent of the Great British public would not vote for an atheist as prime minister.
Saturday 25 October 2008
Thursday 16 October 2008
Saturday 11 October 2008
“A clergyman in charge of education for the country’s leading scientific organisation – it’s a Monty Python sketch,” pronounced Britain’s top atheist, Richard Dawkins, recently. How the world turns. In the days of Galileo it was the church which went around persecuting scientists. Now the boot appears to be on the scientific foot. That is how it must feel, at any rate, to Professor Michael Reiss who last month was hounded out of his job as the Royal Society’s director of education by a group of Nobel Prize winners who were outraged not by what he said but by what people might think he had said.
Sunday 28 September 2008
There is a running joke in the forums at RichardDawkins.net about "fleas", which is what the site's contributors call the spreading rash of books that have been published in refutation of Dawkins' bestseller The God Delusion. It isn't an officially endorsed term, but was inspired by a comment that Dawkins made about two books with his name in the title by the Oxford theologian Alister McGrath: "It is tempting to quote Yeats ('Was there ever a dog that praised its fleas?') and leave it at that..." While poorly argued and badly written books undeniably number among these "fleas", there are others containing nimble logic and thoughtful prose which even hard-line atheists should still find it rewarding to engage with – if only they would. One such is the latest missive in the Oxford God debate, Why There Almost Certainly Is a God (named, with one small change of wording, after chapter four of The God Delusion), by the university's former Regius Professor of Divinity, Keith Ward.
Monday 15 September 2008
Dostoevsky's obsession with physical and mental pain, coupled with his relentlessly emphatic style, means that The Brothers Karamazov is not the ideal book to curl up with. Nor is this 900-page emotional odyssey ideal fodder for opera: two operas have been drawn from it, but neither has stood the test of time.
Sunday 20 April 2008
Idon't know where she got the idea, but Parker, my daughter, suddenly produced a fully decorated swear box and announced that there were new rules for us all to follow. It was going to be 50p per swear word, and she and Jackson would split the proceeds at the end of each month. It was all very entrepreneurial and there was no way we could refuse without setting a pretty bad example.
Saturday 22 December 2007
Friday 07 July 2006
Is this it? asks the spiritual seeker. This material universe, this mortal span, this natural stuff, is this really it? And the atheist answers yes, there is nothing more, no eternal life, no supernatural powers, no god who made the world, no providence, no destiny. This world, this life, is all there is. And if you feel that's not enough - get over it.
Wednesday 02 March 2005
There is a fascinating case going on in the High Court in which God may possibly be called as a witness. Like to know more? I know I would. Here is an extract from the opening proceedings.
Friday 11 February 2005
Friday 04 February 2005
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
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