Little people  big dreams

David Jesudason

Freelance journalist

Location icon United Kingdom

Writer and journalist of 15 years. Worked on the Guardian media desk during the phone hacking crisis. Writing a parenting book called CTL-ATL-DAD.

Writes for Guardian, BBC Culture and other national magazines and newspapers.

Email: [email protected]

Utopia and the power of the conspiracy thriller

Scientists are ignored. Schoolchildren fall ill. Vaccinations offer hope. Utopia is a new TV series so prescient that it feels like the timing of its release could itself have been part of a conspiracy theory. Released today, the Amazon Prime drama focuses on the threat of a global flu pandemic.

Why His Dark Materials is the fantasy epic for our times

Philip Pullman's award-winning trilogy, His Dark Materials, was a unique cultural phenomenon: a rare fantasy work that - despite the convolution of being set in multiple universes - lost none of its literary sophistication.

The films that make the countryside seem less white

"People stick to their own kind. You are forced to accept that when you grow older." So says the disillusioned father Jay to his daughter Mina in one of my favourite films, Mississippi Masala - and it is a line that has haunted me ever since I first watched Mira Nair's 1991 drama about a Ugandan-Indian family who have emigrated to rural America.

the Guardian
'They threw sausage rolls!' Christmas gigs bring no cheer for standups

'We would sometimes bet to see how long a comic would last on stage. We amused ourselves but they were never joyful - they were horrendous!" Dave Johns, standup and star of the film I, Daniel Blake, is detailing his experiences of a string of lucrative but excruciating shows at Christmas time.

How two twins and an egg took on Nintendo's Super Mario

When you think of NES games, a legendary pair of brothers always springs to mind - Mario and Luigi. But another fraternal duo, the Oliver twins - Andrew and Philip - should be equally lauded for making the 8-bit gaming system synonymous with addictive side-scrolling platformers.

Rural racism: A closed door

The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has had far-reaching repercussions and will continue to do so. In the UK, it has led to a growing awareness that ingrained racism means people of colour are discriminated against on a daily basis, across every sector.

the Guardian
Lucidity and beyond: how Toy Story's visual effects transformed cinema

With its fourth instalment out this week, the legacy of the Toy Story series is immense. Woody and Buzz Lightyear's relationship anchored the films in the buddy-movie genre, allowing writers to deftly explore themes of abandonment, ageing and consumerism. There were subtle nods to Alfred Hitchcock, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg.

Circus magzine
The size of it

Bristol icon Roni Size on rave culture, breaking the mould and getting down to old Elvis records

Wellcome Collection
How chloroform shaped the murder mystery

Chloroform has been used by everyone from experimental surgeons to crime-fiction writers, and even a pregnant Queen Victoria. Journalist and murder-mystery fan David Jesudason explains how a one-time Edinburgh party drug went from operating theatre to henchman's kit bag.

Plantain, plant-based and proud

Plant-based Nigerian cook Tomi Makanjuola was told her work was 'unsellable' because she 'wasn't a Nigella Lawson' - now a successful self-published food writer, she tells David Jesudason about the realities of racism in food publishing, cultural barriers to veganism and the versatility of plantains.

Retro Gamer
The legacy of Myst

Time passes and things fade,” begins Rand Miller, who is trying to comprehend the legacy of Myst, the game he co-created with his brother Robyn way back in 1993. “But we, now as much as ever, are getting people who are saying how much it infl uenced them.”

How Sonic and SEGA sparked the UK's Grime music scene

British music producer Joker, aka Liam McLean, listens to the classic Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks at least once a year. The Genesis (called the Mega Drive in the UK) music whisks him back to his childhood where he spent hours playing the game when he was as young as 5.

Retro Gamer
The history of Brian Lara

in the nineties and noughties, a homegrown cricket franchise named after record-breaker Brian Lara enthralled gamers. the enthusiasts who passionately created it speak to us about its unexpected runaway success

The Calvert Journal
Inside Creaks, a video game world inspired by Czech Cubism

Against a backdrop of decaying libraries, untidy desks, and peeling wallpaper, platform-adventure game Creaks begins as an earthquake shakes the foundations of a crumbling mansion: breaking floors, smashing lightbulbs, and revealing an underground world below.

Wellcome Collection
Mass murder and marvellous medicine

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element with a chequered past. From treating ulcers to bumping off rivals, David Jesudason charts how the chemical has been used to cure and kill for centuries.

Brexit Won't Ruin My Love of British Beer
Brexit Won't Ruin My Love of British Beer

When novelist Will Self said "not all Brexiters are racists, but almost all racists will be voting for Brexit" he summed up eloquently how the 2016 EU referendum's Leave campaign had made all people of color feel unwelcome. Populist politicians were given too much air-time and they turned a nuanced, complicated issue into a simple choice: them or us.

Peeling Back The Skin: Who Are The Real Melt-Banana?

"Our music is like a chimera." This is how vocalist Yako describes Melt-Banana; the shape-shifting, genre-defying Japanese noise band who formed in the early '90s. Now a two-piece, Yasuko Onuki (Yako) and guitarist Agata produce fast, electronic-led grindcore and they're set to tour the UK for the eleventh time this October.

Ruminating on seaweed

Climate change | Farming | Meat David Jesudason 11th December 2019 There are numerous reasons why greenhouse gases are increasing and accelerating global warming. Deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia produces more emissions than the world's cars, while the burning of fossil fuels by giant oil and gas firms accounts for one third of global emissions.

The palm oil problem

Diversity | Farming David Jesudason 3rd September 2019 From palm, to paper and pulp Leif Cocks, an Australian conservationist who founded The Orangutan Project in 1998 to protect Bornean orangutans from extinction, says that monocultured crops cause all sorts of environmental issues and is keen to emphasise how their ubiquity is spawned from unrestrained market forces.

The rise of Britain's exotic crops

With the first UK commercial crop of chickpeas recently harvested, it's easy to conclude that climate change is altering the types of crops we grow in the UK. Take saffron. It was first brought here in Roman times and was grown from the 14 th century to the Victorian period.

The new face of food supply

Local sourcing | Food waste David Jesudason 25th March 2020 In the meantime, the platform is helping to keep food moving, something that is especially important considering the impact panic-buying is having on shops and food banks throughout the UK.

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