Voices

I wager women think about sex just as much as men

Film: Back from the dead (again)

The Exorcist really is the scariest film ever made. Isn't it?

Cold Call: Sally Chatterton rings Martyn Lewis

THE GOOD news is that Martyn Lewis, the caring woman's anchorman, is not leaving his six o'clock slot. Reluctant to progress from a gentle chat about the news to questions about his P45 and a certain holiday programme presenter, I tested the water by asking him what he thought about Channel 5's "innovative" format and new-look presenter.

The secret passion of the chattering classes: a pub quiz

Showing off for charity is all the rage.

Stars rally round pioneering school for dyslexic children

Liz Gifford and Matt Rodda report on the race to find funds for youngsters who are failed by the state system

The Martha Gellhorn Award

TO COMMEMORATE the life and work of Martha Gellhorn, the Independent and the Independent on Sunday are launching an award for the best young war reporter of the year.

Television: 'Daddy ... what's an alcove?'

I HAD NEVER understood how tedious it must be to be a newsreader until I caught Jon Snow on Channel 4 News, Midnight Special: Clinton in Crisis (Tues). Here he was, suddenly liberated from the constraints of newstalk and freed from the technical language of negotiations, talks and White Papers. "Hello, and welcome to Washington. Welcome to the White House. And welcome to serious trouble - Clinton in crisis," he beamed at the camera. And welcome, he might have added, to more than an hour of salacious tittle-tattle, speculation and analysis in which we talk about fellatio, phone sex, semen stains, wiretaps, conspiracies and other such dainties, all perfectly justifiable by the gravity of the crisis. It was the night of the President's State of the Union address, and this programme had, as Snow pointed out, displaced I Married a Monster From Outer Space.

HOW WE MET: JON SNOW AND LORD LONGFORD

Jon Snow, 50, journalist and anchor of Channel 4's Seven O'Clock News, started his career as director of London's New Horizon Youth Centre, which was established by Lord Longford to combat homelessness. He was brought up in Sussex and Yorkshire, where his father was Bishop of Whitby in the Sixties, and now lives in London with his partner Madeline and their two children. Frank Pakenham, Lord Longford, defected from the Conservatives to the Labour Party in 1936 to become a prominent politician. He and his wife of 66 years are both devout Catholics; they have seven children (a further daughter died in a car accident in 1969). At 92, he still attends the House of Lords every day, and is a regular speaker there

Media: Rob Brown

If the chief executive of Channel 4 is serious about finding radical alternatives to ITN, he should produce his flagship evening bulletin outside London. Nothing could be more radical than ending the metropolitan stranglehold on broadcast news in Britain.

Kirsty or Kirsty, you can choose

The new definition of news

Media: Channel 4 savours the viewers' feeling for Snow

Channel 4 plans to revolutionise in its newsroom, but wants to hold on to what research identifies as its main asset - Jon Snow. Paul McCann, Media Correspondent, asks why Britain's most upmarket newsreader is so crucial to the channel.

Channel 4 news revamp

ITN's grip on Britain's commercial news broadcasts was under threat yesterday when Channel 4 started a total re-vamp of its 7pm evening news by asking independent production companies to suggest new ideas for the programme's format.

Television review: This happy land of boring speeches

The publicity - sorry, the controversy - that heralded Jimmy McGovern's latest drama focused on the concern that The Lakes (BBC1, Sun) would paint its setting as a Gomorrah of small-mindedness and open-air sex. And so it does. Less enticingly, though, it paints a region where people make speeches all the time. Danny, the unheroic young hero, has to listen to two separate disquisitions on the failings of the Scouse race. Later, an otherwise taciturn grandad jumps out of character and becomes a poet: "Age grants you licence, a licence to indulge ..." Later still, Danny's estranged teenage bride, Emma, recites a plot synopsis when she reminds him how he's viewed by her parents: "You were a scally from Liverpool, you got their daughter pregnant, you took her away to Liverpool, you were too bone idle to get a job, when you did get a job you gambled all your wages away, you went thieving, got thrown in jail, and she came back home. The end of a sorry chapter in their daughter's life. But it's not the end, you turned up again and drowned their niece." Phew.

Blair's Hundred Days by Derek Draper, Faber pounds 7.99.

First serialised in the press at the end of the hundred days, but now appearing in book form, this reportage-diary is, of course, in danger of going further and further out of date even as you read it: hindsight is an endlessly powerful force in politics, as elsewhere. But as a swift- response, insider's-eye view it has an enjoyable freshness. Since it describes Blair's as "the most media-managed government in history" it is probably appropriate that the text is journalistic and immediate, but it's a shame when it degenerates into trash-rag cliches. From the first we find passages like this: "parties across the capital are in full flow. Helena Kennedy, the top barrister destined for the House of Lords, plays hostess to the luvvie and literati brigade, entertaining the likes of Salman Rushdie, who watch the results on a huge ITN jumbo screen, provided courtesy of Jon Snow, the cerebral and left-of-centre presenter of Channel 4 News..."

Election `97: One last spin precedes a new Messiah

Now that history had ended, and there was no left, the issues were integrity and management: the politics of normalcy

Magnificent Father mine, that pony does not come

Sons & Mothers edited by Matthew and Victoria Glendinning, Virago, pounds 16.99 Fathers: An Anthology edited by Louise Guinness, Chatto, pounds 16 .99
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker