David Hockney

Lesley Garrett: 'I lost my voice in the middle of an opera; I thought

I was shunned by the opera world when I began appearing in musicals There is still a powerful snobbery in the opera hierarchy and because I decided to do a musical or two, such as Carousel and The Sound of Music, all the doors suddenly closed to the opera houses, which surprised me. I believe their thinking is that once a singer departed from the prescribed operatic route, they become contaminated.

A passion for India

The Ashmolean's new exhibition of Indian art from Howard Hodgkin's private collection is inspired by his love of the country. By Adrian Hamilton

A passion for India

The Ashmolean's new exhibition of Indian art from the private collection of Howard Hodgkin is inspired by his love of the country

Still dotty about Damien Hirst

As Damien Hirst's Spot Paintings go on display at 11 Gagosian galleries worldwide, Adrian Hamilton visits the two London shows and finds real pleasure in their playfulness

Celia Birtwell: How soft furnishings differ from fashion

The difference between designing for the home and for fashion is enormous,’ Celia Birtwell told me in an exclusive interview. ‘Fashion moves so fast and is so demanding that there is little time to rest and take stock. 'Home' has longevity.’ Five decades on, textile designer Birtwell is back at the forefront of both the fashion and the interior industries. This autumn, she launches an online shop, and a home collection including readymade curtains, bed linen and a retro oilcloth for John Lewis.

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Diving: Boy wonder is growing up but won't sink without trace

When Tom Daley hits the water in Sheffield's Ponds Forge pool as the star attraction in the Fina World Series diving final next weekend, he will no longer be the precocious boy wonder of British sport but a young man enveloped by all the trappings of superstardom.

Cultural Life: Peter Carey, novelist

The rule of the majority can only be democratic with an informed electorate. As newspapers die, as Fox News rises, one treasures the 'Rachel Maddow Show' on MSNBC. I am told there is no current- affairs show that is quite as frank and courageous in the UK. Could this possibly be true?