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
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed