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Mark Lawson

There’s no quitting Márquez

Knowing that writing is a profession with no retirement date, publishers and readers are reluctant to let go.

Testing the heavens

Believers, when mentioning heaven, traditionally cast their eyes skywards, but the possibility of an afterlife may now be proved by looking down.

007 returns

Since the death of Ian Fleming in 1964 his estate has authorised 32 novels about James Bond by other authors.

Embroidered memories

The most psychologically intriguing possibility regarding Hillary Clinton's recollection of coming under sniper fire in Bosnia is that, for her, the memory is entirely accurate. Regardless of what the conditions on the ground objectively were, she was frightened about going there and felt apprehensive throughout a tour which she hoped/feared might have to be abandoned.

Too batty for the box office

In Hollywood movies, a single plot twist is no longer considered sufficient: the first surprise is the down payment on a more amazing revelation....

How many Oscars has the British government won?

If you're ever stuck for a tie-break question to decide a pub quiz, try this: How many Oscars has the British government won? This is not a joke about Tony Blair's thespian tendencies; the answer is two. In 1944, the ministry of information's Desert Victory won the first-ever Academy Award for documentary; and two years later the trophy was shared with the United States government for The True Glory.

Fingers in the word-till

Mark Lawson profiles Kaavya Viswanathan, a writer embroiled in a plagiarism scandal.

Hollywood’s biggest-ever nativity story

There have previously been children whose birth attracted a certain amount of attention -- Jesus Christ, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Mountbatten-Windsor, Brooklyn Beckham -- but the recent arrival of Suri Cruise set a new record for interest in an infant.

Hollywood’s biggest-ever nativity story

There have previously been children whose birth attracted a certain amount of attention -- Jesus Christ, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Mountbatten-Windsor, Brooklyn Beckham -- but the recent arrival of Suri Cruise set a new record for interest in an infant.

Dame Muriel loses her Spark

The radio interview I recorded with Dame Muriel Spark at her Tuscan home two years ago almost never made it on to tape because...

The phone and the fury

The modern phrase for a moment of realisation that a lifestyle is out of control is ''wake-up call''. So linguists as well as counsellors will be interested in the fact that the actor Russell Crowe has experienced a behavioural watershed that actually involves a telephone in a hotel room.

US politics gets Kinky

The governors of America's states intermittently meet for policy conferences and social events, and there is a chance that such a gathering in 2006 could feature a handshake between governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, of California, and governor Kinky Friedman, of Texas. The latter, a popular country and western singer, announced last Thursday that he will run as an independent against George W Bush's successor in Texas, the Republican Rick Perry.

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