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Zawe Ashton: I can't sleep at night if I feel I'm hindering women

To many, Zawe Ashton will always be known as Vod, the zany English student in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat. In real life she relates to Vod’s general “rage against the machine” attitude, but definitely doesn’t share her character’s poor work ethic. It seems as if Zawe (pronounced Zaw-ee) never stops. Since her break-out role in Fresh Meat, she has edited an edition of Woman’s Hour, starred in Channel 4 comedy, NSFW, directed an art documentary for the Tate, appeared in the West End, and written, prod
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Nadiya Hussain: I suffer with panic, some days I can't get out of bed

Nadiya Hussain is still smiling – for good reason. Two years on from winning The Great British Bake Off, the 32-year-old has released three cookbooks and a novel, presented two of her own TV series, and baked the Queen a birthday cake, all while earning herself one-name celebrity status. It’s quite a transformation for “Nadiya”, whose self-esteem was once so low she avoided going out in public for fear of being judged. When she told the camera in tears after winning Bake Off, “I’m never going t
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Broadchurch is back on fine form - it's about time

Broadchurch is back on fine form, finally. After an implausible second series that struggled to deliver sensitive storylines with subtlety, Chris Chibnall’s popular drama has returned to its best. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to feel a pang of concern when I heard that Broadchurch was going to focus on sexual assault. Might another rape drama risk desensitisation? The clumsy handling of a character’s violent ex-partner in the last series also added to my fear. In one of the worst-scripted
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Hotel Miro: The perfect setting to explore Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum

Located on the doorstep of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, you’d be forgiven for thinking Hotel Miro was named after Spanish painter Joan Miro. Although the artist’s surrealist paintings hang two minutes’ away in Frank Gehry’s magnificent art gallery, the hotel is instead named after Spanish fashion designer Antonio Miro, who designed its 50 rooms. Opened in 2002, five years after the Guggenheim Museum took its place on the banks of Bilbao’s run-down port, Hotel Miro is one of a collection of buil
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Julie Walters: I'd be letting myself down if I had a facelift

Julie Walters talks candidly to Daisy Wyatt about the iniquities of plastic surgery,  the impact of Brexit on her family’s farm and the spectre of sexual harassment In her four-decade career, Julie Walters has sung from the Greek rafters in Mamma Mia!, taught Billy Elliot how to dance, posed nude in Calendar Girls, dabbled in Harry Potter’s dark arts and shaved her head to play Mo Mowlam. Yet of the 100 characters she has portrayed, it is Victoria Wood’s tea-pouring Mrs Overall who still holds
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Bake Off will be better on Channel 4

Stop all the clocks. The Great British Bake Off is moving to Channel 4. Co-hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc have left the show. The nation’s most-loved, highest-rated TV show will never be the same again. Could this be 2016’s Top Gear? At least that was the reaction from fans that followed news the popular baking competition will no longer be broadcast on the BBC. Cue viewers likening Bake Off leaving the BBC to the UK leaving the EU (only worse), former contestants bewailing the “commercial
iNews

The Couple Next Door is the next Girl on the Train - but much better

Gone Girl has changed the face of women’s fiction. Since the success of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 thriller, white book covers with high heels and flicky pink writing have been replaced by dark images and bold, monosyllabic titles. Chick-lit has given way to a wave of accessible psychological thrillers aimed at women. The British author Paula Hawkins had comparable success to Flynn with her novel The Girl on the Train, which Barack Obama had on his reading list this summer. Now the Canadian writer Sh
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Novelist Anne Tyler tries to update Shakespeare for young people

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the publishing imprint Hogarth Shakespeare has asked some of today’s best-known novelists to pen modern-day versions of his plays. The Taming of the Shrew has been given a 21st-century twist by Anne Tyler, whose most recent novel, A Spool of Blue Thread, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize last year. Readers who were teens in the 1990s might well remember that the Shakespearean comedy was famously adapted into the 1999 movi
The Independent

10 best feminist books

With International Women’s Day around the corner, we take a look at some of the best feminist reads promoting women in the workplace and on the sports field. From laugh-out-loud memoirs to accessible academic essays, these recent releases and re-issues are a must-read for women and men alike. Is modern feminism anti-men? Is feminism still a shameful word? Twenty five women under 30 explain why they consider themselves feminists in this series of essays by writers including Everyday Sexism’s Lau
The Independent

10 best book club reads for 2016

If you’re not sure what to suggest for your book club in 2016, try one of these accessible novels due to be released this year. From best-selling author Helen Dunmore’s Cold War spy novel Exposure, to newcomer Claire Vaye Watkins’s dystopian debut Gold Fame Citrus and psychological thriller The Widow by Fiona Barton, there are plenty of new releases to stoke the imagination and get the conversation started. 1. The Museum of You by Carys Bray: £12.99 hardback and ebook, Random House Written by
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