Arts and Entertainment Nathan Filer, winner of the 2013 Costa Book of the Year

33-year-old upsets the odds with his novel 'The Shock of the Fall' - the story of a teenager's descent into mental illness

London: Capital of the world

Halfway through Europe's most glorious century, the 19th, Eugne Guinot opined "in Europe there are two capitals: Paris for the winter and Baden-Baden for the summer". This month I have visited both. However lovely the German spa town may be, it does not have the qualities of scale, diversity, wealth and culture that defines a great capital (and no, it wasn't just that I was there in the wrong season). The French capital has a stronger claim, yet it has been comprehensively out-pointed in our survey of civic greatness. London is the world's capital, and ex officio capital of Europe, the northern hemisphere and, let's speculate, the solar system.

John Rentoul: Alan Johnson could move into Prescott's office tomorrow. So why not the top job?

If there is a sudden vacancy, Johnson is surely the favourite

Peter Heath: 'Planners are learning to see waterfronts as an asset, not an obstacle'

From a speech by the principal public realm specialist of Atkins, to the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

BOOKS: PICK OF THE WEEK

Children's Literary Festivals Tue to Fri South Bank Centre & Barbican Pit, London

REVIEWS: CLASSICAL - OAE / Norrington Queen Elizabeth Hall London oooo9

CONTRARY TO myth, the output of J S Bach was never wholly forgotten after his death in 1750. Some of the keyboard music continued to circulate in manuscript; the motets, to be sung in Leipzig, where Mozart heard one. And a belated biography in 1802 sparked new interest. But it was the first performance in a century of the St Matthew Passion, put on in Berlin in 1829 by the 20-year-old Mendelssohn, that really kick-started the great 19th-century Bach revival.

Classical Music: Dances with wolves

When she's not on stage, the pianist Helene Grimaud runs an animal sanctuary. The responsibility enriches her music, she tells Michael Church

The next Pavarotti, moi?

Juan Diego Florez is touted as the tenor to watch. After his triumphant Royal Opera run, he tells Michael Church he is shocked - but rather chuffed - at being compared to 'last century's greatest voice'

Swinging his praises

When everyone was listening to Sinatra, Ol' Blue Eyes himself was listening to the velvet-voiced Tony Bennett, who tells Anthony Quinn how he is keeping the timeless art of crooning alive

Mory Kante: In search of the colour of music

Mory Kante, the legendary West African griot, tells Tim Cumming how he combines traditional sources of music with Western instruments in his new album, Sabou
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own