• The tricks to making a successful complaint (even when you're dealing with an infuriating chatbot)

    Um, excuse me? Excuse me, could I get some attention here? Outrageous. I have made a simple request that is firmly within my rights – that you read this article – and you’re treating me like I am some… nobody. I am more than happy to escalate this, you know. Can I at least speak to a human being?

  • As a British Indian divorcee, I’ve been treated like damaged goods

    “It’s harder to meet someone when you’re 40 and divorced.” This is what someone said to me at a wedding recently. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I replied: “Actually, it’s hard in the Punjabi community, but it isn’t hard if you find someone outside your community. In fact it’s much easier.”

  • Meg Mathews: What I wish I could tell my 40-year-old self about the menopause

    Since 2018, Meg Mathews has been one of the UK’s foremost menopause campaigners, determined to use her profile to end the stigma surrounding it. In her column for Stella magazine, she reveals what she’s learnt. This week she writes a letter to her 40-year-old self.

  • I am 40, single and going on my first family holiday in decades

    I’m rescued from my precarious living situation by my cool auntie inviting me to join her, my uncle and cousins (boys, 11 and 13) on holiday at Center Parcs for a week. Since I have nowhere to live and nothing to do (except fret about houses), I enthusiastically agree. Only later it dawns on me I am 40, single and going on my first family holiday in decades.

  • Natasha Kaplinsky, Ulrika Jonsson and Anthea Turner on the reality behind the breakfast TV sofa

    There’s nothing quite like breakfast TV. The shows may have gone through many guises over the years, but what they’ve all had in common is that – from Eamonn Holmes branding his GMTV co-host Anthea Turner ‘Princess Tippy Toes’ to Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan’s tiffs on Good Morning Britain – breakfast TV is always a hot topic. Which is is probably why the Americans made a big-budget drama about it. As The Morning Show returns to Apple TV for a second season, we talk to three former stars of the

  • The midlifer's guide to Gen Z dating lingo

    What do you do when you’ve been left on ‘delivered’ for two hours? Are you being benched, cushioned, breadcrumbed or, worse still, completely pied? And just when you thought you were about to go from linking to something more serious…

  • Jennifer Saunders: ‘I have a kind of horror of red carpets events – all that having to dress up!’

    Jennifer Saunders is best known for writing and co-starring in French and Saunders, originally broadcast from 1987 to 1993, and Absolutely Fabulous in the 1990s. She currently lives in London with her husband, Ade Edmondson, to whom she has been married for 36 years, but they raised their three daughters, now in their 30s, in their home in Devon.

  • China is claiming Emma Radacanu as their 'dongbei' girl – so what could it mean for her?

    As messages of thanks go, few can have been as widely shared. When the new US Open tennis champion Emma Raducanu issued a statement on Instagram on Saturday night, thanking the Chinese branch of her family for their support, it didn’t so much go viral as start an internet pandemic. Within 48 hours some 600 million views had been registered. It wasn’t just that it was so charmingly delivered – it was the fact Raducanu spoke in fluent Mandarin that made so many take note.

  • Britney is engaged, but why is everyone so nervous for her?

    If it were most couples, it’d be cause for unbridled joy and congratulations: a surprise engagement announcement, complete with giddy, rock-bearing Instagram photographs, massive grins and an emoji-filled caption. But when half of that couple is Britney Spears, no one’s quite sure what to think.

  • I salute the Afghan women rejecting the new Taliban veils

    I can scarcely believe my own eyes. On a new website, several irrepressible Afghan females, young and old, have put up pictures of themselves in colourful, traditional clothes worn in bygone years; when their countryfolk loved and revelled in glamour, beauty, artistry, songs, music and sensuality.

  • 'I don't like my husband's best friend. What should I do?'

    I’m uncomfortable with my husband’s best friend, Michelle. They met at university and got together briefly but he swears they have been just friends ever since. She has few female friends and is cold – but I said nothing to my husband, even when she was his ‘best woman’ at our wedding. Michelle recently broke up with her boyfriend and wants my husband to go and see her in London – apparently ‘she needs her best friend’. (We live in Glasgow.) He was stunned when I said I wasn’t comfortable. Can I

  • ‘I thought I would die in my 50s, so didn’t keep a pension... now I can’t afford to stop working’

    Are your values around money shaped by the kind of family you come from? I think they are; I grew up in a relatively poor family with parents who never saved for pensions, and money was just never something we openly discussed.

  • Amanda Abbington: ‘Doctors misdiagnosed my menopause as depression’

    Two years ago, I hated myself. I was in a stressful new situation, having split up from my long-term partner, Martin Freeman, three and a half years earlier. And weird changes to my body were making things worse. I started noticing that – at the age of 47 – I had to work harder at the gym and that I was becoming increasingly moody, and forgetful. I was in emotional turmoil; feeling overwhelmed and alone.

  • Post-pandemic resolutions were for fools – no wonder they didn't last the summer

    There’s a lot riding on September this year. It’s back to school month and we’re returning to the world after a long absence. So, naturally, we’ve got a full tank of resolutions.

  • The Mary Churchill diaries: ‘How can I ever describe the crowds – or their welcome to Papa'

    Mary’s battery departs for Belgium on January 25 and takes up a position in the countryside outside Brussels, before moving in mid-April to Antwerp. Events move quickly and she is well placed to observe the final phase of the war in Europe, recording the Allied crossing of the Rhine and the deaths of President Roosevelt and Hitler. The mood of the diary lifts and the social engagements proliferate as the peace approaches. She is awarded the MBE.

  • Roe v Wade: What happened to the baby that divided America?

    “I would never, ever thank her for not aborting me.” That is what the daughter of “Jane Roe” – the woman whose Supreme Court case, Roe v Wade, led to the legalisation of abortion across the US – told her birth mother, in one of their only interactions.

  • Suella Braverman: ‘I don’t have mum guilt – it’s less exhausting being back in the Cabinet’

    Suella Braverman is looking remarkably bouncy for a woman who has spent six sleepless months with a newborn and a two-year-old.

  • The Mary Churchill diaries: ‘I heard overhead a throbbing continuous roar and I knew D-Day was here’

    Mary spends the first half of 1944 with her battery in London. As tensions build ahead of the liberation of France, German bombing intensifies. She also commences an Anglo-French liaison of her own with Jean-Louis de Ganay (J-L), a young Frenchman serving in the Free French army.

  • Roger Allam: ‘I wasn’t surprised when one of my school masters was convicted of child abuse’

    Roger Allam has looked into the heart of darkness many times during his 46-year career. The actor has played every villain from Adolf Hitler and Javert – nemesis of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables – to Robert Maxwell in the forthcoming film Tetris.

  • The debutante balls of today are just posh versions of Love Island

    Imagine curtsying to a cake. It wouldn’t be how I’d choose to spend my Saturday evening, but last weekend, a gaggle of young women bobbed to the carpet at a venue in Westminster more often used for corporate award ceremonies and office Christmas parties. They were dressed in frou-frou wedding dresses, paired with white gloves and jewels borrowed from Harrods. This was the Queen Charlotte’s Ball and they were this year’s crop of debutantes, poor things.