• Frasier cast reunite to raise money for coronavirus fund
    News
    The Independent

    Frasier cast reunite to raise money for coronavirus fund

    The cast of Frasier have reunited for an hour-long YouTube video for the Stars in the House channel to raise money for The Actors Fund during the coronavirus pandemic.Kelsey Grammer, who played the elitist psychiatrist Frasier Crane in the beloved sitcom, attended the reunion via video link, along with co-stars David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, Dan Butler and Bebe Neuwirth.

  • How do we preserve social order and institutions when something so unexpected happens?
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    How do we preserve social order and institutions when something so unexpected happens?

    My new novel, The End of October, which comes out next month, is a work of imagination. The book is not prophecy, but its appearance in the middle of the worst pandemic in living memory is not entirely coincidental, either. It began with a simple question from filmmaker Ridley Scott, who had read Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 post-apocalyptic novel The Road, and asked me: “What happened?” How could human civilisation become so broken? How could we fail to preserve the institutions and social order that define us when we are confronted with something unexpected – a catastrophe that in retrospect seems all but inevitable?This is not the outcome I anticipate for the current Covid-19 pandemic. In writing my book, however, I’ve come to appreciate that we would be naive and prideful to believe we have escaped the snares of disease that nature is constantly devising.

  • Savour the shows you’re bingeing on – the people behind them are losing their jobs
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Savour the shows you’re bingeing on – the people behind them are losing their jobs

    Right now, the arts are in trouble and in need of assistance. Film releases have been delayed, cinemas closed. music and literature festivals cancelled, tours canned and filming for television series put on indefinite hiatus. When the storm passes and a version of normal life resumes, many of the institutions and individuals who cater to our cultural needs will be unable to recover. Imagine going to your local theatre, bookshop or music venue only to discover it has been permanently boarded up – because, without intervention, this is what we are facing.There will be those who view the arts as a luxury and an inevitable casualty at a time of ext​reme crisis. With lives at stake, there’s no disputing that the cancellations and closures are entirely necessary. But to dismiss the value of culture at such a time is to overlook that which brings colour to our existence and makes life worth living – not to mention its huge contribution to the economy.

  • The 40 best books to read while you’re self-isolating
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    The 40 best books to read while you’re self-isolating

    Books, books, books. They will increase your lifespan, lower your stress and boost your intelligence. They will give you fuller, thicker hair.Whatever the breathless claims about reading, one thing is certain: losing yourself in a great novel is one of life’s most enduring and dependable joys. Job satisfaction comes and goes, partners enrapture and abscond, but you can always fall back on the timeless ability of literature to transport you to a different world. From Jane Austen’s mannered drawing rooms to the airless tower blocks of 1984, novels do something unique. They simultaneously speak to the heart and mind. They teach you about the history of our world, the possibilities of our future and the fabric of our souls.

  • Bahn Mi: Five things you didn’t know about the unique sandwich
    Lifestyle
    The Independent

    Bahn Mi: Five things you didn’t know about the unique sandwich

    Google is celebrating the savoury and satisfying Vietnamese street-food sandwich known as bánh mì, with a doodle showing all it’s delicious preparation in motion.In the doodle, a traditional bánh mì is put together, consisting of a baguette-like bread packed with meat, vegetables and herbs alongside a spread of mayonnaise or margarine and savoury soy sauce, topped fiery with chilli sauce or peppers.

  • Coronavirus: Amazon makes Peppa Pig free to watch on Prime Video after UK schools close
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Amazon makes Peppa Pig free to watch on Prime Video after UK schools close

    Amazon Prime Video has made a selection of its family friendly content free to stream after schools were closed to help combat the coronavirus outbreak.Among the shows on offer is children’s favourite Peppa Pig, plus Fireman Sam and In the Night Garden.

  • Disney+ launches in UK today
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Disney+ launches in UK today

    We may earn commission from some of the links in this article, but we never allow this to influence our content.Disney+, a new streaming service to rival Netflix and NowTV, has launched in the UK after its US launch in November last year. You can find the UK site here.

  • Idris Elba tests positive for coronavirus: ‘Now’s the time for solidarity’
    Celebrity
    The Independent

    Idris Elba tests positive for coronavirus: ‘Now’s the time for solidarity’

    Actor Idris Elba has tested positive for coronavirus, saying in a Twitter video that he currently has no symptoms but is isolated.The actor shared the update on Monday, telling fans in a video: “So look – this morning I got some test results back for coronavirus and it came back positive. Yeah, and it sucks.

  • Netflix Party extension lets you watch and chat with friends in total synchronicity while in coronavirus self-isolation
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Netflix Party extension lets you watch and chat with friends in total synchronicity while in coronavirus self-isolation

    During the pandemic outbreak, many are staying home and socially distancing – meaning they are also yearning for company.Some might especially miss being able to gather with their friends, partners and loved ones to watch their favourite movies and TV shows.

  • The Rise of David Bowie: Mick Rock’s legendary photos of the late artist
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    The Rise of David Bowie: Mick Rock’s legendary photos of the late artist

    In 1972, David Bowie released his groundbreaking album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars.With it landed Bowie’s Stardust alter ego: a glitter-clad, mascara-eyed, sexually ambiguous persona who kicked down the boundaries between male and female, straight and gay, fact and fiction into one shifting and sparkling phenomenon of Seventies self-expression.

  • Stephen Shore: Finding beauty in dusty, neon-lit suburbs of 1970s America
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Stephen Shore: Finding beauty in dusty, neon-lit suburbs of 1970s America

    Stephen Shore had a swift and glittering introduction to photography. Born in 1947, the New York native was developing his first pictures as a six-year-old and sold his first works to the Museum of Modern Art at 14.By 1965, the 16-year-old was photographing the stars at Andy Warhol’s hotspot The Factory. At 23, he was the first living photographer to have a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Andy Warhol: Why the great Pop artist thought ‘Trump is sort of cheap’
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Andy Warhol: Why the great Pop artist thought ‘Trump is sort of cheap’

    During last year’s Super Bowl, 100 million US viewers were treated to a most unexpected sight in one of the commercial breaks. It was Andy Warhol doing nothing more than taking bites out of a Burger King Whopper – and adding the occasional bit of ketchup – for 45 seconds.There was no music, no punchline, just a little, light rustling of the burger’s wrapper – in a slowly unfolding scene that culminated with the hashtag EatLikeAndy. It was about as far removed as one could imagine from the big-budget ads traditionally shown during the Super Bowl.

  • The Last Bohemians: The podcast that captures the radical lives of women who do not give a damn
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    The Last Bohemians: The podcast that captures the radical lives of women who do not give a damn

    The moment I realised that I needed to think more bohemian was meeting Molly Parkin, the bejewelled, beturbanned grand dame of Soho’s sticky-floored arts clubs. During her 88 years, she has been a fashion editor, an erotic novelist, a stand-up comedian and an artist, and has spent many an evening getting sloshed with Francis Bacon and bedding famous bluesmen. We’d been in touch before, via email – hers always in gloriously shouty CAPSLOCK, as if I might not be able to hear her – when I asked her if I could read some of her poetry (filthy and funny, all of it) at an event. She agreed, and then almost a decade later we arrived at her tiny, kaleidoscopic bedsit on the World’s End estate in Chelsea, sometimes in 2018, with two radio mics and a recorder, to make a podcast.I started the audio series The Last Bohemians to profile maverick women in the arts and culture like Molly. When we turned up on her doorstep, though, we had no idea that a story about her morning routine would turn into a meditation on the joys of painting, poetry and… pleasuring herself. Parkin might not be having any of her famous liaisons anymore (Bo Diddley and Louis Armstrong among them) but desire doesn’t go away, she said, just because you’ve got a bus pass. Nor does imagination. In series two, we speak to fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, who tells us that “creativity doesn’t retire”, and folk octogenarian Judy Collins, who reels off how she keeps her mind fit, from surrounding herself with fabulous women to reading the Tao.

  • Onward: New Pixar film banned in Middle East because of reference to lesbian relationship
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Onward: New Pixar film banned in Middle East because of reference to lesbian relationship

    Pixar’s new animation Onward has been banned in a number of cinemas in the Middle East because of its representation of homosexuality, according to Deadline.The report states the film has been forbidden from cinemas in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as a result of one of the film’s characters openly referencing their lesbian relationship.

  • Power, privilege and glamour in 1920s London: Inside the glittering world of the Bright Young Things
    Lifestyle
    The Independent

    Power, privilege and glamour in 1920s London: Inside the glittering world of the Bright Young Things

    The end of the First World War may have brought peace to London, but by the late 1920s the children of the elite were on a mission to stir up the rigid conventions preserved by their Victorian parents.They threw wild parties, pranks, treasure hunts and pageants, and broke taboos with their cross-dressing and revealing outfits.

  • Playing to their own beat: The photographer who captured the north’s juvenile jazz bands
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Playing to their own beat: The photographer who captured the north’s juvenile jazz bands

    Mention Fats Waller or Louis Armstrong to any member of a juvenile jazz band,” wrote the late social photographer Tish Murtha, “and the reaction you are likely to get is one of blank ignorance.” Children’s marching troupes humming the National Anthem through a kazoo were as much a feature of working-class mining towns in the seventies as high-rise flats and dole offices, and they are often remembered today in rosy retrospection. But Murtha felt little fondness for them.The photographer travelled with the juvenile jazz bands to capture their performances at parades and carnivals in the west end of Newcastle at a time of deep economic and social deprivation. Murtha discovered what she believed to be a militaristic charade that crushed the children’s spirits. “To be accepted into, and remain in the juvenile ‘jazz’ band a child must put aside all ‘normal’ behaviour, and become the plaything of the failed soldier, the ex-armed forces members, and their ilk; any spark of individuality is crushed by the military training imposed, until the child’s actions resemble those of a mechanical tin soldier, acting out the confused fantasies of an older generation,” she wrote in a scathing 1979 essay to accompany her photographs.

  • 20 best PS2 games ranked, from Shadow of the Colossus to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    20 best PS2 games ranked, from Shadow of the Colossus to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

    There aren’t many games consoles that are still remembered as fondly as the PlayStation 2.Arriving in March 2000, Sony’s sleek machine was a revelation: a futuristic console for the exciting new millennium. It went a long way towards introducing the world of video games to an older, more diverse audience.

  • Fidelio, Royal Opera House, review: As they say in football, it’s a game of two halves
    Lifestyle
    The Independent

    Fidelio, Royal Opera House, review: As they say in football, it’s a game of two halves

    ★★★☆☆On paper, director Tobias Kratzer’s rationale for his production of Beethoven’s Fidelio made persuasive sense. He started from the premise that Beethoven set his story in Spain because the censors would have spiked it if he’d set it where it belonged, in Revolutionary France; Kratzer’s production is accordingly placed in the last days of the Terror of 1794. There would be updating, but not in the first act, which would take place under the banner of the Tricolour symbolising the people’s hopes. Pizarro – the evil governor – would be a Robespierre figure; his opponent Florestan would be a Danton.

  • 20 best PS4 games ranked, from Grand Theft Auto V to Marvel’s Spider-Man
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    20 best PS4 games ranked, from Grand Theft Auto V to Marvel’s Spider-Man

    With more than 102 million units sold, the PlayStation 4 is one of gaming’s biggest success stories. Look at it; isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it sexy? We haven’t heard of anyone actually marrying their PS4, but it would be hard to judge them if they did. And yet we find ourselves at the very end of our love affair with Sony’s eighth-generation console.With the PS5 announced (and believed to be with us anywhere between October and December this year), it’s only a matter of time until we upgrade to a new model. And so, this seems the perfect time to attempt to rate and rank the 20 greatest games the system has to offer. What follows are those 20 games, from Grand Theft Auto V to Red Dead Redemption 2. Jump in, revisit an old favourite or find a new one. You’ll miss the old girl when she’s gone…

  • Love is Blind: How to find the contestants on Instagram and see what the couples are up to now
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Love is Blind: How to find the contestants on Instagram and see what the couples are up to now

    Just as Barnett crushed Jessica's heart in the pod, we are equally mortified to tell you that Love is Blind is over.The Netflix series took Love Island's mantle as everyone's favourite new dating show, with the premise of trying to determine whether looks matter when searching for true love (spoiler: it seems they do).

  • Made in India: The Sartorialist’s portrait of a country’s unique style and beauty
    Style
    The Independent

    Made in India: The Sartorialist’s portrait of a country’s unique style and beauty

    Famed American photographer and blogger Scott Schuman journeyed to India many times to capture its wildly idiosyncratic styles; whether on the streets, in markets, on the cricket fields, or at residences in cities like Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai.Schuman’s affinity for his subjects is evident, and he celebrates people of all ages and from all walks of life, from ravers, transgender subjects, wrestlers, grandfathers, and fashionistas to children and labourers.

  • Sir John Tenniel: Google Doodle pays tribute to Alice in Wonderland illustrator
    Lifestyle
    The Independent

    Sir John Tenniel: Google Doodle pays tribute to Alice in Wonderland illustrator

    Today’s Google Doodle marks Alice in Wonderland illustrator Sir John Tenniel’s 200th birthday, with a sketch of his most renowned character.The English illustrator and political cartoonist is most famous for the pictures he drew for Lewis Carroll’s hit Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland stories. Fittingly, the Google tribute shows Alice looking up at the Cheshire cat, replacing the letter L.

  • Duffy: Celebrities and fans express support after singer says she was ‘drugged, raped and held captive’
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    Duffy: Celebrities and fans express support after singer says she was ‘drugged, raped and held captive’

    Fellow celebrities and fans have expressed their support after Welsh singer Duffy revealed she was drugged, raped and held captive in an ordeal that took place at some point in the past 10 years.“Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it,” she wrote. “But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine.”

  • Two Point Hospital review: Cartoonish management simulator makes the leap to consoles
    Technology
    The Independent

    Two Point Hospital review: Cartoonish management simulator makes the leap to consoles

    Healthcare is a right, not a privilege – except, of course, when it’s a video game. This is exactly the case in Two Point Hospital, an addictive hospital management simulator that has been transferred to consoles after a successful outing on PC.In Two Point Hospital, you are tasked with building, arranging, expanding and managing a number of different hospital sites. Your duties include the hiring and firing of staff members, planning the layout, and selecting the decor – making sure that both staff and patients are having a merry old time of it.

  • 15 best free iOS games for iPhone and iPad
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    15 best free iOS games for iPhone and iPad

    iPhones and iPads boast such a wide selection of games, it can be quite overwhelming for any new device owner. Thankfully, there are plenty of great free games ready for you to download right now. Take a look at this list of 15 of the very best the App Store has to offer. This list includes games that are completely free, not just trials of paid games. Some may include microtransactions, but the games themselves are free to download.1. Silly Sausage in Meat Land This colourful, zany iOS game plays like a surreal twist on Snake. In it, players use touch controls to guide a stretchy dog through twisty, obstacle-laden levels that start off simple enough but soon become fiendishly challenging.