What if . . . the Beatles had never formed
By Dominic Sandbrook - 26 November 5:41

Now that the plaudits are rolling in for Alan Bennett's play The Habit of Art, which imagines a meeting between Benjamin Britten and W H Auden, perhaps Bennett should turn his attention to another meeting that never w

Umbrellas are like love affairs
By Nicholas Lezard - 19 November 5:52

The sun is shining as I write, but I have learned not to trust it. As soon as I step outside, it will start raining. This generally seems to have been the pattern of things for the past couple of years.

Should Britney sync or sing?
By Mark Watson - 19 November 5:52

Recently, Britney Spears got into trouble for miming her way through shows. She'd sold her tour as a live performance, when in fact the songs are

Class Monitor No. 9: Big kids
By Michael Hodges - 19 November 5:52

“Ooohh." A noise goes up from the crowd of big kids looking at the shiny red sports car. The car is parked on a raised dais and a man with a microphone attached to his head stands next to it.

Dames are forever
By Sophie Elmhirst - 19 November 5:52

Good old Shirley. Just when you thought the glittery dresses and James Bond theme tunes might be on the wane, out she marches with an album full of new songs.

How to feel stressed in ten easy steps (plus a checklist)
By Sophie Elmhirst - 12 November 5:43

Take a deep breath. It's time to talk about stress. And the one thing we can't do is get stressed about it. But, oddly, as soon as I even think about stress, I feel stressed. Even the word is stressful.

Backtrack or derail
By Neil Clark - 12 November 5:43

A pledge to renationalise the railways would be a clear vote-winner. So why do passengers’ demands f

Pool cues at the ready
By Nicholas Lezard - 12 November 5:43

An invitation to the countryside from C -- , who is actually an ex from my university days but has become a good friend again, even though she reads the Daily Mail. (I suppose it cuts both ways.

From boom to bleak: Labour’s record on poverty
By Mike Brewer - 12 November 5:43

Trends in poverty and inequality since Labour came to power in 1997 fall neatly into three stages. In Labour's first term, there was growth in income of over 3 per cent each year after inflation for the median household.

Class Monitor No. 8: Checkout women
By Michael Hodges - 12 November 5:43

As she scans my Chilean red wine, I notice that the woman on the checkout has eaten the quick from her fingernails.

The war for the poor
By Fran Abrams - 12 November 5:43

In the run-up to next year’s general election, poverty is back at the heart of political debate. In

Real Meals: a double-shot of sanctimony
By Will Self - 12 November 5:43

Starbucks coffee is so bad I'll happily walk several blocks just to avoid drinking the stuff

Q&A: Duncan Bannatyne
By Sean Carey - 06 November 16:30

The entrepreneur discusses his philanthropy and anti-smoking campaigning

Drugs rows, Aids denial and the post
By Peter Wilby - 05 November 5:55

Legalising all drugs would raise billions in revenue

What do you call a male ferret?
By Mark Watson - 05 November 5:55

Recently, I met a self-proclaimed bibliophile who, having hit his forties, had decided to "reread Dickens". I feigned admiration, but my real emotion was closer to bafflement.

Class Monitor No.6: The travellers
By Michael Hodges - 29 October 7:51

All of the cheese and most of the onion land on my groin. I curse. The motorway has been clogged all the way from London. I've driven less than 100 miles in two hours.

Rise and fall of little voice
By Sophie Elmhirst - 29 October 7:51

Pop star, actress, care worker for the elderly. This, it seems, will be the professional trajectory of Noriko Sakai, the Japanese starlet who has been on trial in a Tokyo courtroom for drug use and possession.

Good idea: Starting from scratch
By Samira Shackle - 29 October 7:51

As the jobless count continues to rise, it has been predicted that bank bonuses could reach £6bn. Is this the sign of recovery, or is there an alternative?

Sue Ryder on the storm
By Nicholas Lezard - 29 October 7:51

God damn it, another hole in my shoe. Remember that bit where Withnail complains that he's nearly 30 and the sole's flapping off his shoe?

When it comes to carbon footprints, I’m a LoseACC
By Sophie Elmhirst - 29 October 7:51

Recycling and low-energy light bulbs won't suffice in the battle against my elephantine footprint

Rory Stewart, Who’s Who and clubs
By Jason Cowley - 29 October 7:51

Stewart is a man of action and a man of letters of a kind you no longer find in British politics

You can’t handle the tooth
By Nicholas Lezard - 22 October 8:48

To the dentist. First with my eldest son, who has been complaining of pains that are like toothache, but are not exactly toothache.

Class Monitor No.5: Polish girlfriends
By Michael Hodges - 22 October 8:48

We're in a public park on a sunny day. All is pretty much as good as it could be. We live in what is still a wealthy country, and it isn't raining.

Your call is not important to us
By Will Self - 22 October 8:48

The inconsiderate use of mobile phones is a form of collective madness

Mugging up for Mastermind
By Mark Watson - 22 October 8:48

I'm a celebrity. You might not realise it yet. You might have me down more as a funnyman of moderate repute.

The NS Interview: Franny Armstrong
By Sophie Elmhirst - 22 October 8:48

“We’re right at the end of the time when we can still do something”

Playing hard to get with Jobcentre Plus
By Sophie Elmhirst - 15 October 8:38

So, to sum up the past few weeks of pontificating by Gordon and George: "GET A JOB!" Yes, there were "policies" and "vision", but there was also

Smashing the lens
By Becky Hogge - 15 October 8:38

"Well, that's what happens when you have three Weetabix for your breakfast." So said the Sky News anchor as the camera cut back to her after Adam Boulton's interview with the Prime Mini

Bad idea: Women don't need work
By Alyssa McDonald - 15 October 8:38

You may think - if you're a woman with a full-time job - that your career is a way of paying the bills. Perhaps you even think you enjoy it.

Am I culturally challenged?
By Mark Watson - 08 October 6:46

Recently, I read 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, a book that has been acclaimed as the greatest novel of the decade so far. I say "recently": actually it took me most of my life to date.

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