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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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What it's like at election time if your parent is an MP

I was seven years old when my dad woke me up in my bunk bed in the early hours of 2 May 1997 to tell me he had been elected as an MP. “And did Tony Blair win too?” I asked, before giving him a big hug and falling straight back to sleep. Little did I know this would be the first of three elections my family would have to endure. Four years later, I was a nervous first-year secondary school girl when my dad faced his second public test at the ballot box in 2001. I was so worried he might lose tha
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'My polygamous marriage has made me a better person'

Suzie Morrison is in a polygamous marriage. She lives with her husband, Abel, and his two other wives – and says their domestic arrangement has made her a better person. The 36-year-old lives in an isolated community of fundamentalist Mormons in Utah’s Rockland Ranch, where half of the men have more than one wife. They believe that it is their calling to replicate God on earth, creating big families in the image of God’s creation of humanity. Their belief that polygamy is one way to reach the
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Mutiny's Chris: I am the absolute opposite to how I was on the show

Adventurer Chris Jacks thrives on his own company. Joining eight other men for a 4,000-mile voyage in a tiny open wooden boat was always likely to prove a challenge, then – beyond the obvious. The former prisoner turned professional sailor from Liverpool has been the standout character so far in Channel 4’s series Mutiny – the televised attempt to recreate Captain William Bligh’s 1789 journey to safety, following the mutiny on the Bounty. Separated from dry land with only each other to rely on
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‘My morning sickness was so bad I had to have two abortions’

Zoe* had two terminations after suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a condition that causes extreme vomiting during pregnancy. She was able to give birth to her daughter in 2009. “When I was pregnant I was being sick at least thirty times a day. I couldn’t keep any food or drink down, and was signed off work. I was pretty much bedridden and would crawl from the bed to the toilet and back again. “I kept being referred to hospital for dehydration. For my first two pregnancies, I was given no
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What I want you to know about postpartum psychosis

Sleep deprivation and anxiety are common complaints from new mothers in the first months after giving birth. But for a few mothers, the combination of lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance and fears about the baby’s health can escalate into an acute mental health illness. Postpartum psychosis (PPP) affects one in 1,000 mothers but the condition is barely spoken about. When Sara Fenwick, 27, was diagnosed with PPP after suffering delusions that her baby was experiencing seizures, she had never heard
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Putting the clitoris back into sex education

More women are watching porn and sending sexts than ever before, yet few can distinguish their vagina from their vulva, or know where their clitoris is. Ignorance about female genitalia is so widespread that almost half of women cannot label their vagina on an anatomical diagram. Sixty per cent of women do not know where their vulva is, according to research from gynaecological cancer charity The Eve Appeal. The clitoris has an estimated 8,000 or more nerve endings It is thought to be twice as
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Why hospices deserve our support this Christmas

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for those who have recently lost a loved one, or are caring for an ill relative. Jennifer Lambert, whose husband of 50 years died of cancer in July while staying in a hospice, will be thinking of him on Christmas day when she sees their grandchildren. But as well as spoiling them, she will be playing them a special song sung in memory of their late grandfather, David. Lambert is one of 300 singers from 18 hospices across the south east who have recorde
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Mums of autistic children share the tips that changed their lives

Parents of young children with severe autism can learn the skills to dramatically improve their child’s development, according to a “hugely cheering” new study. According to the breakthrough study, early intervention has been shown to have an effect on reducing the severity of autism symptoms, a reduction that continued for six years after the end of treatment. With the help of a therapist, who films parents playing with their children and watches it back with them, parents can learn to pick u
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