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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Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'