Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Rant & Rave (20/01/13)


Have you seen the new, multimillion pound TV advert for Virgin Atlantic, which is trying to recruit 150 extra staff for its new domestic routes? It stars a number of gifted children – one with second sight, one who has superfast reactions, another who can bend reality to her will, and a fourth who is a genius at building stuff – and they all grow up to be Virgin employees.

The boys grow up to be an engineer, a pilot and a waiter … and all the girls grow up to be glamorous cabin crew in shiny red high heels. The one who can predict the future? She gets to wipe a man's nose. At least this advert doesn't appear to make a joke out of drug rape, like one recent Virgin ad which was pulled after Sir Richard Branson complained. But nor does it really fulfil its own brief. "Fly in the face of ordinary," says Virgin's slogan. But only if you're a boy?


Flat caps off to God's Own County, Yorkshire, which has just received a £2m investment package from the European Regional Development Fund to support its film industry. It has also been announced that Yorkshire, with all that gorgeous scenery, is to host two stages of next year's Tour de France, which will take in Leeds, Skipton, Keighley and Hebden Bridge.

And now it's been revealed as the home of the world's fourth best hotel: Rudding Park in Harrogate, according to the Travellers' Choice Awards. It's been a golden time for the county, after it came (effectively) 12th in the 2012 Olympic medals table. And you know what else?

In Yorkshire, the whole infrastructure doesn't fall to pieces as soon as somebody sights a flake of snow. Do try to keep up, London.

Katy Guest