Voices

These letters appear in the Monday 14th October edition of the Independent

TV Review: Father Ted & The Last Salute

There are few things as heartless as an audience in search of pleasure. When a venerable Hollywood actor dies, for example, it is slightly shocking how often the first thought is "Oh good, now we'll get a retrospective season of the films". The news of Dermot Morgan's death was rather different - because he was still in middle age and because his role as Father Ted was just opening up a larger career. But for English audiences, who knew him only because he played Father Ted, any sadness felt was still subject to some selfish consolations. They had managed to complete the series, for one thing, and we all knew it was to be the last anyway because the writers (and Morgan himself) wanted to move on to other projects. And despite its title, the series had always been very democratic about its comedy, sharing it out evenly amongst an ensemble of actors - so that even in imagination the idea of Father Ted (C4) without Father Ted would never have been quite as unthinkable as, say, Porridge without Ronnie Barker.

Pantomime: Hot porridge with Bruno

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Items and Icons: In the kitchen (3)

Utensils have come a long way since your mother's Prestige pressure cooker. Aoife O'Riordain selects three pages of the most covetable kitchen kit. Photographs by William Taylor

Preview: An eye on ...; national celebrations

National Porridge Day: The launch of National Porridge day on Monday was marred by the theft of hundreds of packets of Quaker Oats from a promotional trailer at New Street Station in Birmingham. "Why would anyone want to steal hundreds of packets of porridge?" a spokesman asked.

Books: A beastly holiday

MISSING THE MIDNIGHT by Jane Gardam Sinclair-Stevenson pounds 10

Deadly charade of Russia's boy soldiers

Children as young as nine are gearing up for war, writes Phil Reeves

Letter: Bogus interpretation of Queen Mary

Sir: I see that "Planners go to war against the Queen of Scots" (11 June).

How to survive inside

Watch your tea bags and your mouth, advises former lifer Hugh Collins

Firefighter finds taste for porridge

Matthew Brace

Porridge mixed with politics

The Kilmainham Jail in Dublin sheds light on a dark age. By Alan Murdoch

Cracking disc, Gromit!

CD-Roms: Wallace & Gromit

Would your child choose fish with fennel or porridge?

Designer babyfoods are aimed at guilty parents says Ruth Picardie

Porridge and confidences

Coupling by Wendy Perriam Flamingo, pounds 15.99

The Monday Interview: Messing about on the river

Fun is never far away when Jonny and Greg Searle are around, even when a second Olympic gold medal beckons. They spoke to IAN STAFFORD

Porridge diet brings snails back from brink

An endangered species of snail is being brought back from the brink of extinction by feeding them on porridge.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there