Olivia Ovenden is a senior staff writer writing for online and print at Esquire Magazine. She predominantly covers culture: writing trend pieces, interviews and reviews on film, television, books and music. She also covers politics, mental health, social media, and internet rabbit holes, with recent feature topics including the visible effects of our film-it-all age of Instagram Stories, and how sites of natural beauty are being trampled for the perfect shot.
Previously, she was a features writer at the Telegraph Magazine, and has also written for ELLE, Stylist and Resident Advisor. She grew up in London and in 2012 received a 2:1 in English Literature with Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy and is currently writing her first novel.
In and amongst the videos of lyrics to wash your hands to, Amy Adams singing 'Imagine' and pictures of the aisle where loo roll used to live, a letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald, written while he was under quarantine during the Spanish Influenza outbreak in 1920, is being shared on Instagram and Twitter.
Nothing spreads like fear. So says Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, the 2011 film which tracks the outbreak of a virus from China which goes on to cause a pandemic and societal collapse. Almost ten years later the film is spreading again, thanks to its eerily prescient depiction of the nascent stages of a highly contagious illness.
One of the most talked about guests at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday was not an actor, a presenter or a musician. It was Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos, hoping to go unnoticed in a smart black tuxedo. "Jeff Bezos is so rich, he got divorced and he's still the richest man in the world!"
Six years ago, in the summer of 2014, one track infiltrated clammy nightclubs, drifted out of the window of cars and caused sun-dappled festival crowds to slowly sway together. The widespread success of 'Can't Do Without You' was bemusing to Dan Snaith, the man who released the track as Caribou, and who also DJs under the moniker Daphni when playing more rousing techno.
The f-word gets dropped roughly every seven minutes on Succession, and yet the show itself is largely absent of much actual, you know, fucking.
At the 76th Golden Globe awards, Parasite director Bong Joon Ho collected the award for best foreign-language film. His translator addressed the audience on his behalf, telling them: "Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films." The sarcasm was palpable, even through a translator.
I first realised Instagram Stories had changed my friends while sitting outside a pub earlier this year. It was the point in a Friday night when drinks begin to linger on the table as everyone privately debates whether to go home.
It's a strange time indeed when the internet can offer more comfort and positivity than straying out into the real world. In the last week, as restaurants, pubs, clubs and cinemas across the world have shuttered up, and museums and gyms have become ghostly, the internet has - for the first time in a long time - become the only safe place to hang out.
Earlier this year, a friend's eleven-year-old daughter came to lunch with us. She was wearing a black t-shirt, with 'Friends' emblazoned across the chest, in the hole-punched font that no one of a certain age can see without thinking of smelly cat, pivoting, and "We were on a break!".
Suddenly everything - stranger's mouths, handrails, used tissues - feel very close. Would we have started noticing these things without the churn of Coronavirus news providing an hourly shot of cortisol into our brain? Most likely not, but it is how we react to stress, not whether or not we feel it, that will make a difference in the coming weeks.
On Monday my boyfriend turned to me and asked me the question I thought would never come. "Can you show me how to use Slack?" With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing all of us to make offices out of our homes and boardrooms out of bedrooms, it's becoming apparent how differently we all work.
Brad Pitt's 2020 awards season run was a Hollywood fable in itself. There was redemption in his return having battled alcoholism and a second broken marriage. There were the hilarious and self-deprecating speeches, one where he joked about Tarantino's foot fetish in front of a stony-faced Tarantino, another where he said he would be adding the trophy his Tinder profile.
Of all the ills that Facebook has inflicted on the world (fake news; echo chambers; gender reveal party photo albums) it's interesting that the company has decided to take a firm stance over likes on Instagram.
The red carpet at the Oscars is one occasion where you can be confident that there will be enough photographs taken to memorialise the evening. You can leave your 35mm film at home. The sea of professional photographers flanking the red carpet have got this.
Kelvin Harrison Jr is not the kind of actor who slinks out of premieres before the film starts. The 25-year-old grew up in the Garden District of New Orleans, a neighbourhood of historic mansions where the trees are festooned with colourful beads during Mardi Gras, and he spent his entire childhood on-stage, playing the trumpet in jazz school and singing in church.
As the sun gets a little brighter in the sky, spare a thought for the men who have endured a long, cold winter on their own. We're not talking about those manning lighthouses on isolated rocks, but (*checks notes*) Harry Styles and Brad Pitt, two men who are at pains for the world to know they are very much single.
Award luncheons are tiring. The machine gun fire of endless photographs, the plates of salmon terrine and the collective muscle strain of having to smile while being asked, yet again, what it's like working with Steven Spielberg.
When you walk into the new exhibition at the Barbican, Masculinities; Liberation through Photography, the first thing that greets you is the large, wrinkled bottom of an ageing man. These tall black-and-white panes are self-portraits by British photographer John Coplans: one shows his torso bloated as he twists his body; another is the aforementioned sagging backside.
When the announcement arrived that Get Out and Us director Jordan Peele would be teaming up with Al Pacino to make a comic book-tinged series about vigilantes hunting down Nazis in Seventies New York, it appeared something exciting was coming to Amazon Prime Video.
Sometime after Brad Pitt took to the stage at the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards this Sunday in Los Angeles, and some time after Jennifer Aniston collected her award at the same ceremony, the pair collided in the dark warren of the backstage area.
In the pilot episode of Succession, the satirical family drama written by Peep Show's Jesse Armstrong, Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) sits in the back of a chauffeur-driven car blasting music to pump himself up for his day at work.
Quentin Tarantino started writing Pulp Fiction straight after his directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs, was released to critical acclaim. By the time he begun casting the follow-up, everybody wanted to be in it. Its release cemented him as one of the most exciting directors working at the time: an auteur paying respect to classic cinema but giving it a violent, musical twist.
Anxiety ebbs and flows in Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade, but never fully retreats. There are classic high school fears, like facing a pool party full of school friends in a swimming costume or worries about being invited to a party out of pity.
Remember millennial pink? Pantone's joint colour of the year from 2016 cropped up on everything from trainers to scarves, rugs to phone cases. The problem which everyone - including this humble magazine - faced, was trying to decide what colour it actually was.
This Sunday, the winners at the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced. They'll each be given shiny gold statues, and we'll finally know the identities of the most exciting actors working in Hollywood. Or, rather, which ones the Academy deems to have served their shift.
On a sagging blue sofa in a harshly-lit room, a topless woman sits next to her partner, his hands inside her pants as she writhes in pleasure. Their foreplay has lasted around four hours, from nipple play to blowjobs, the occasional ping of a retro slot machine going off intermittently in the background.
For a while, even Matthew Macfadyen, who plays the obsequious Tom Wambsgans on HBO's Succession, thought he would be the "blood sacrifice" in the final episode of season two. The show seemed to be leading to his being thrown under the bus by his ruthless wife for her own political gain, but gave the audience not one, but two twists.
Ten minutes after I sit down with Ian McEwan on a sodden Tuesday morning in September, we are interrupted by the subject of his new book, Brexit, taking another satirical turn. The Supreme Court ruling on Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue parliament has been announced, and McEwan, wearing trousers, shirt and shoes all in slightly different shades of teal, has left his chair to find out the result.
This year, some of the most exciting films playing in cinemas will be wide-format film releases, hinting that classic cinema is undergoing a renaissance at the box office. From forthcoming Bond 25 film No Time To Die, to Christopher Nolan's Tenet and DC Comics Wonder Woman 1984, all have been partially shot on 70mm film stock.
There are nearly 20,000 posts on Instagram which include the hashtag #ExclusionZone. Some of these contain quotes from HBO's recent, and excellently reviewed, series Chernobyl, while others are photographs of books which detail the nuclear disaster in Ukraine.
Director Lulu Wang first shared the story of her grandmother's terminal cancer diagnosis, and how the family kept it a secret from grandma "Nai Nai", on an episode of the podcast, This American Life.
The crowd watching Miley Cyrus at Glastonbury Festival this weekend also saw her perform under another name. Wearing a neon lilac wig the singer played 'On a Roll', the original single that her character, pop-singer Ashley O, performs in an episode of Black Mirror season 5.
Emmanuel Jal's earliest memory is of being surrounded by his family, on a truck. Above them, a group of Muslim and Arab men are screaming that they are "abeeds"; slaves. "They beat my uncle and my mum," Jal says. "I bit one of the men and he grabbed my neck until I blacked out."
Albert Einstein's definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results is easily applied to the experience of watching the Academy Awards. On a night billed as the most electric of the year where supposedly there's everything to play for, it's remarkable how stale everything feels, from the speeches to the winners themselves.
In Trick Mirror, the debut collection of essays from New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino, aspects of culture, politics and technology are held up as the illusions they really are. The nine long-form essays don't have one single theme that binds them together, but often they present modern life as a con - a funhouse mirror that distorts and hides the truth.
Performing in the space between a tide of illuminated iPhones and several screens projecting his image, it's safe to say Frank Ocean's headline slot at Panorama Festival last week was well documented.
Though some aspects of the arrival of Harry and Meghan's first child weren't exactly ordinary - The London Eye illuminated red, white and blue and the BT Tower proclaiming "It's a boy!" for a start - the most enjoyable moment of the all-day coverage most certainly was.
Break-up music has changed a lot in the last twenty years. Once upon a time, a list of heartbreak albums would have been made up of Joni Mitchell's 'Blue', or Nick Cave & the Bad Seed's The Boatman's Call, or Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks, these days some of the saddest songs aren't warbling numbers about how your ex doesn't know what they're missing.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner didn't mean to write a novel about divorce, or at least, that's not what she thought the story was about. When she turned forty her friends started coming to her to announce their marriages were over. "It really lit me on fire," she tells me.
So you've seen the film, bid on Brad Pitt's retro Champion t-shirt and put the downpayment on the white 1966 Cadillac DeVille to cruise down Sunset. Still, you might be looking for more to fill the Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood-shaped hole in your life, so grab your blender of frozen margaritas and settle in.
When the original series of Euphoria, or אופוריה as the title reads in Hebrew, was released in Israel, the show followed teenagers carelessly having sex and taking drugs. When their parents fleetingly appeared on-screen the cameras avoided showing their faces. This technique has not been mirrored in the American adaptation of the show, but parental authority is similarly missing.
It's Saturday November 2, 11.45pm. You're standing next to your friend's freezer, from which he's dutifully attempting to extricate ice with a knife, while a sticky orange drink is warming in your hands.
Every so often a throwaway tweet by a random person gifts us a line so profoundly bizarre that it catches the imagination of the internet, gifting us endless memes. This week it was the turn of William McNabb, who used the excuse of feral hogs as an argument for allowing widespread access to guns in the US.
As we approach the final furlong of Venice Film Festival, it's a good moment to take stock of who has upped the style stakes at the 76th instalment of the cinematic celebration. Adam Driver has demonstrated a watch that will work for any occasion, Brad Pitt triumphed by keeping things old school, and Rami Malek showed how to make the short-sleeve shirt work beyond summer.
The end of each month is a great time to take stock of the music releases you might have missed out on in the last few weeks. Much as you might love that excellent Robyn album from last year, retaining the title of Playlist King means regularly refreshing the contents of your office or bedroom soundtrack.
Franklin Roosevelt once remarked that "in politics, nothing happens by accident." It's a quote that springs to mind upon seeing the new 'Independent Group' dining out together in Nando's. Last night Chuka Umunna tweeted a group selfie of him and the lads (and ladies) enjoying a cheeky Nando's (branch unknown) after their inaugural meeting.
Protesters in the UK are beginning to mobilise to voice their objections to the arrival of Donald Trump and the divisive aspects of his presidency. One recent decision made by Trump that may further divide the public is the hair style he revealed before flying to London.
There is plenty of evidence of the kind of man that Steve Bannon wants people to think he is in The Brink, Alison Klayman's fly-on-the-wall documentary about the former Trump advisor and Breitbart chairman.
In Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood, the ninth film from director Quentin Tarantino, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Rick Dalton, a journeyman actor facing the decline of his career. Bouncing between TV Westerns, Dalton is called in as The Heavy to face the leading actor in a standoff and die at their hands every time.
Last week, in the case of missing Connecticut woman Jennifer Dulos, the lawyer for her husband, with whom she was embroiled in a custody battle, commented that he was, " investigating the possibility that this is a Gone Girl-type case and considering the possibility that no third party was involved in foul play."
Before Heath Ledger's Joker stole the show in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, the many iterations of the DC Comics villain often played up to the whacky and vaudeville side of the Clown Prince of Crime.
In 1984, a complicated video game touted as a revolutionary concept ended up never being released and helped to the bankrupt its creator, Imagine Software. The game provides the title and inspiration for Charlie Brooker's new Black Mirror film Bandersnatch, a projectwhich - while in no way threatening the legacy or future of this exemplary sci-fi series - also feels like a concept that was far better in theory than in execution.
"You know why this is my favourite tree?" Six-year-old Moonee asks her friend on the outskirts of the lilac-hued Magic Castle she calls home. "Cause it's tipped over, and it's still growing."
In Ian McEwan's new novel Machines Like Me, the rise of Artificial Intelligence has swallowed jobs on shop floors, in accounting, hospitals, marketing, logistics and human resources. This rise of robotisation forces the protagonist Charlie to muse: "Soon enough, most of us would have to think again what our lives were for.
The trajectory of the scam artist that we expect, and secretly hope for, is a steep plummet as their house of cards collapses and justice is served. As New Yorker writer Jia Tolentino wrote in June last year, " we want the failure of our scammers to seem inevitable".
Connecting euphoria to heartbreak, Robyn's music has always hidden moments of private sadness in tracks that play out on public dancefloors. Her new album, Honey, retreads this dichotomy to produce blazing pop songs with an intimate sadness to them.
"A couple of powerful models posting an orange tile is what essentially built this entire festival. And then one kid with probably 400 followers posted a picture of cheese on toast that trended, and essentially ripped [it all] down," says Mick Purzycki, one of the men behind Fyre Festival, in a new Netflix documentary.
At a wedding last weekend the conversation around the table turned, as it so often does in the presence of a freshly minted marriage, to finding love. "Where am I supposed to people?" the man to my left despaired, as though someone on table eight was holding all eligible women hostage from him.
"No time to die" 007 laments, rolling his eyes as he waits for his tea to brew in the kitchen at MI6. "Overtime's been an absolute killer." This may or may not be the explanation behind the title for Bond 25, which was yesterday revealed as No Time To Die, along with a confirmed release date of 3 April 2020 in the UK and 8 April 2020 in the US.
Something strange happened back in May: the most talked about television show in America was a BBC series which started life as a one-woman play at Edinburgh Fringe. Stranger still, for once viewers in the UK had already seen the series, instead of having to patiently wait for a hit show to make its way across the pond.
Reddit is a good place to look at other people's art. There are sub-strands filled with acrylic pantings of barn owls, graphite pencil portraits of Miley Cyrus and sunsets from every corner of the world. Last week, it also became a great place for paintings of pantings - and paintings of paintings of paintings - as a new trend lit up the message boards.
Are you feeling ... alright, alright alright, Matthew Mcconaughey? Far be it from us to question the methods of a man who leapt effortlessly from rom-com pin-up to Academy Award-winning actor, but his slate of 2019 movies look a little, eccentric.
It is difficult to ascertain who exactly stapled the first piece of bread to a tree, but it was in May 2019 that a Brisbane resident took to the Redcliffe Peninsula Facebook group to share a photograph of a slice of white loaf attached to a trunk.
In the three years since an Office for National Statistics report revealed how suicide had become the number one killer of men between 20 and 49, the perception of and conversation surrounding mental health has undergone a radical transformation.
Netflix users only needed to hear the rumour that it might be about to interrupt their evening binges with adverts for the cancellation threats to start. "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed. I hope you'll reconsider this," said one user on Twitter. "I pay a tenner a month for the luxury of not having ads," fumed another.
Donald Trump touched down in London the day after England's World Cup dreams were crushed. It was the first gloomy day after weeks of tropical sunshine and the remaining St George's flags hung limp like sails with the wind knocked out of them.
The second season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's twisted comedy Fleabag hasn't allowed audiences to binge it whole, but instead drip-fed it to them week by week. As well returning to the cliffhanger moments of traditional television, the weekly drop of the BBC show means we're all watching at the same time, and then dissecting it at the water-cooler the next day.
On the sort of sweltering October afternoon in London that would make even the most seasoned climate change sceptics scratch their heads, Mahershala Ali has had to abandon his car to pace through Piccadilly Circus.
Films about partying tend to follow one of two paths: drink, drugs and debauchery are either celebrated, or set up as an an ethical hurdle for a character to clear. Traditionally films where illicit substances are a background reality of life, and not there to make a moral point, are stoner buddy movies about male friendship, not female.
Sites of natural beauty have enticed hordes to get the perfect shot at whatever cost. While it's another strike against the reputation of influencers, is it any surprise this is the endgame for the haven of self-promotion at any cost?
For months Kit Harington has been keeping a secret that everybody wants to know. It's been an exhausting balancing act, like treading water with a smile on your face. Of course he isn't going to tell you how Game of Thrones ends, whether Jon Snow lives or dies, who ends up on the Iron Throne, or even if his beloved direwolf Ghost survives till the end.
This behavioural science strategy turns your nagging to-do list into unconscious acts As we age we prune the synapses for behaviour we don't use and strengthen those we do Habit stacking uses those strong connections to create new habits Habit stacking uses those strong connections to create new habits"We are what we repeatedly do.
Beanbag brainstorms and fridges stocked with coconut water are the sort of benefits we associate with working at Facebook. Watching live footage of torture unsurprisingly isn't one of the perks that earned them second place on Glassdoor's ' Best places to work' list, but that's what their newest recruits will be tasked with doing.
There was plenty of opportunity for awkwardness at the 91st Academy Awards - in addition to the usual drawn out speeches and bad jokes, there was the elephant in the room of the fact there was no host to smooth things over.
Road trips don't end well in Jordan Peele films. A meet-the-parents trip to upstate New York in Get Out ends in brainwashing, imprisonment and murder, and his follow-up Us concerns a family holiday to a lakeside house in California with similarly cheerful consequences.
The question of whether 007 could ever be played by a woman might finally have its answer, with reports that actress Lashana Lynch will take on the coveted status in forthcoming Bond 25, playing a character called Nomi.
Today Deadline reported that screenwriting and directing duo Scott McGehee and David Siegel had closed a deal with Warner to remake GCSE syllabus classic Lord of The Flies. But - a-ha! - unlike in the original, the group who violently turn on each other will be female.
Nature writing - in which the beauty of the natural world is used as way of exploring inner turmoil - has enjoyed something of a commercial and critical renaissance in recent years. It's not hard to see why. Our obsession with technology has started to feel more like a trap, making the the great outdoors seem like an appealing balm.
Famous for nineties hits like Cheers and White Men Can't Jump, the easygoing Texan actor is on a recent run of form after roles in the likes of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and True Detective.
All the novels rethinking 1984 for the age of zero hours contracts and social media stalking
If trends in popular culture paint a picture of society at that moment, the growing interest in film and TV about serial killers should have us all worried. Today Netflix announced Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, a four-part documentary series coming to the streaming service in January to mark the 30th anniversary of the notorious murderer's execution.
In October New Yorker writer Rachel Syme tweeted: "Who is a woman who, growing up, you always thought of as a kind of public joke but upon getting older you realized her story wasn't so funny after all?" In the thousands of replies with suggestions like Tonya Harding and Brittany Murphy, one woman's name cropped up over and over again: Lorena Bobbitt.
There is a scene in Whiplash, the 2014 film starring Miles Teller as a drum student at a prestigious music academy in New York, in which his character Andrew breaks up with the girl he is dating.
Long before the single deckchair next to a sweep of swimming pool proclaiming 'Office for the day', or the snapshot of a drink held aloft with the caption 'About last night', or a group in front of a festival field titled 'squad goals' (with a few sunglass emojis for good measure), Instagram captions weren't given much thought.
The Grammy Awards have a rich history of picking winners which have baffled and riled audiences. As well as the infamous best album snub of Beyoncé's Lemonade, the Grammy's are also responsible for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' losing out on best rock song to Eric Clapton's 'Layla',and Public Enemy losing best rap performance to...
Reading has been shown to improve brain connection, help us empathise with others and save you from the indignity of playing Candy Crush on the tube. Aspiring to read more is a more worthwhile pursuit than losing weight or being nicer to your parents, and yet, and yet, our bedtime companion is more often than not our phone rather than a scintillating hardback.
"It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me," said Batman, or the various actors who have played the caped crusader over the years. As it turns out, who is underneath does matter, as Ben Affleck officially hanging up his mask poses the question of who will play Bruce Wayne next.
Having carefully decanted your alcohol allowance into plastic bottles, rehearsed your tent assembling routine and stocked up on Paracetamol, Piriton and Penicillin, you might be excited about finally getting to Glastonbury. So much so that you perhaps haven't given enough thought to who you're going to dedicate your time to watching play at the festival.
Despite Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty's accidental sabotage, Barry Jenkins' stirring film about a black boy struggling with his sexuality went on to clinch Best Picture at the Oscars in 2017.
In Hereditary director Ari Aster's latest film, , a Swedish festival on the summer solstice descends into a hell-scape of Maypole dancing, human sacrifices and pubic hair pies. We can only imagine this was the moodboard in mind for a new statue of Melania Trump, which has been erected in her home town of Sevnica, Slovenia.
The summer months aren't traditionally an excellent time to visit your local multiplex. That isn't because you should feel bad about eschewing beer gardens and human conversation for the cool air of screen two, but because films hoping to compete for major awards are usually released toward the start and end of the year.
Whatever your taste, 2018 has been a great year for music. Pop goddess Robyn returned from an eight year break with an instant classic in Honey and St Vincent flipped her excellent 2017 album to give each track a more melancholy sound.
We now spend almost eight hours a day consuming media. That's eight hours every day scrolling through Instagram posts, WhatsApping our excuses to cancel on plans and reading terrifying news reports about Donald Trump's latest tantrum. It's a stressful time to be alive.
Next Sunday the Oscars will announce the winners of the 91st Academy Awards, having limped on without a host and shunted categories like cinematography and editing to the advertisements break in order to help dwindling viewing figures.
While signs of progress with diversity can feel slow to emerge from Hollywood, the programme at Sundance London this weekend is filled with stories told by a refreshingly broad mix of perspectives.
It's hard to imagine this relentless heat will ever go away. Fans flutter interminably. Jumpers have become sinister characters lurking in our wardrobes. And we're all longing for a Sunday afternoon we can spend inside with the blinds down. But end it will! (It will, won't it?)
We've labelled this spoiler-free because we're not giving away any of the major events that unfold in season 5 of Black Mirror. The details divulged are also included in the episode preview information. However, if you want to go into the episodes without any idea of what you're about to see, look away now.
While there have been many Batmen, Spider-Men and Supermen, until now there's only ever been one Blade. The character played by Wesley Snipes has remained in the pantheon of cool superheroes thanks to his vampire-slaying credentials and, now very on-trend, Nineties all black ensemble.
The Billy Caldwell case has united the public behind medical legalisation, but how close are we to joining Canada, the US and Holland in testing the recreational and financial benefits of a fully taxed cannabis cafe culture? And what would it cost?
As Britain and the rest of the world watch the Trump presidency unfold in horror, one American politician is emerging as a possible light at the end of the tunnel. So who is Beto O'Rourke, and is the Democrats great next hope the real deal or just a case of wishful thinking?
We are now in post-#MeToo world, one in which those facing accusations of assault and harassment are creeping back into the picture to stage a comeback or ask for forgiveness after a few months of speedy soul searching.
This week, Elon Musk's repeated claims that Vernon Unsworth, the heroic diver who rescued 12 Thai children from a cave, is a 'paedophile' has finally resulted in him being sued. Surreal sentence, isn't it.
The hotly anticipated new project from Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve, follows the story of MI5 officer Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) who becomes obsessed with her pursuit of a psychopathic assassin named Villanelle (Jodie Comer). There's a reason it's already gone down so well in the US, where critics have raved about its genre-shifting action and dry humour.
After the surprise announcement veteran British director Danny Boyle had walked away from directing Bond 25, disappointment - and some degree of panic - ensued. With the project due to start filming next year - and Christopher Nolan and Denis Villeneuve already ruled out - who would step into his place?
"Filleting a fish and serving it like that is quite weird in other cultures," Tomos Parry muses. "I think being served it whole makes it feel more relaxed, like you're on holiday." With hordes of customers gleefully ordering whole grilled turbot at his newly opened restaurant Brat, Parry has earned the right to comment on the benefits of serving a fish bones and all.
Can humanity evolve to the point it no longer experiences pain? This is the question at the dark heart of Netflix's new mind-bending show, Maniac. The 10 episode drama starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill is the latest venture from Cary Fukunaga - he of the revered first season of True Detective and 2015's Beasts of No Nation - and is loosely based on a Norwegian TV series.
Yesterday Netflix made one giant leap toward interactive television with the announcement that one episode from the forthcoming fifth season of Black Mirror would feature a Choose Your Own Adventure episode. In Charlie Brooker's dystopian series, viewers will be allowed to control the storyline to determine the plot and character's outcome.
Nestled discreetly on one of the four streets that surround Newington Green in Hackney, north-east London, you could easily miss Jolene if you weren't looking for it. Even once you enter, it feels more like walking into a stylish stranger's house than a restaurant - such is the unusual charm of David Gingell and Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim's latest invention.
Released in February 2013, House of Cards was Netflix's first original series, and by making all episodes available at once it marked the beginning of the binge TV era. From the moment where Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) broke the fourth wall to wring a dog's neck less than a minute in, it had you hooked on the bargaining and backstabbing of the Capitol.
Last month Chief Executive of ITV Carolyn McCall warned that now was the last opportunity to build a UK competitor to Netflix. " I think the window is closing," she told the Guardian, explaining how the channel's most popular show, Love Island, had licensed its back catalogue to the streaming giant instead of hosting them on their own would-be service.
The lead police officer in the third season of HBO's crime drama series True Detective was originally written as a white character - until Mahershala Ali sent show-runner Nic Pizzolatto images of his own family members in sixties and seventies Arkansas to make the point that black men occupied senior roles in the force in that era too.
Donald Trump and ties have something of a complicated relationship. In January of 2017 the President was called out for scotch taping his neckpiece together after a gust of wind exposed his cunning fashion hack. Given his aversion to criticism of any kind, you might therefore expect Trump to see the tie as a foe rather than a friend.
Last summer, at the height of the rolling heatwave and the World Cup fever which gripped the nation, James Blake was talking about his struggles with mental health. " I was taken away from normal life essentially at an age where I was half-formed," he told an audience in California, alluding to the depression had dogged him for years.
In a crowded field of films 'based on true events' at this year's Academy Awards, the story of literary forger Lee Israel is perhaps the best - and most likely to be overlooked. Adapted from her memoir of the same name, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
The most frightening aspect of Netflix's new horror film Velvet Buzzsaw is not the paintings that come to life to strangle people, but the people inhabitants of the art world itself - the critics and tastemakers who dissect works like a 'Go-Pro Kindergarten' exhibition ("Gonna break big") or a 'Hoboman' robot installation ("No originality, no courage") at Art Basel Miami, while taking selfies and smoking hash oil vapes.
In a wonderfully British scene to behold, Stephen Merchant is drinking a cup of tea in a corner of a hotel in Soho. Tucked away, or as much as you can be as a 6 ft 7 celebrity, he politely pretends not to notice when passersby slow down to work out where they know his face from.
On Game of Thrones, moments of 'female empowerment' come thick and fast. What started as a series with a boob count rivalling the death toll and threesomes used as a segue between battles now seems shaped by the strength of its queens, ladies and female fighters.
I'm nearly hit by a bus on the way to meet Nicholas Hoult. As it sails past I see it's covered with his face in the poster for Tolkien. "I'm so sorry," he says, vaguely mortified, when I tell him about it. "Was it one of those life-changing moments where you thought: 'this is it'?"
Commiserations if you're not off for a week of highbrow cinema on the Croisette at Cannes Film Festival, but there's still plenty of reasons to pay attention to what's on the bill. The 72nd edition promises to be a who's-who and what's-what of the films and directors sure to be causing a stir around film circles, Twitter, and eventually the office kitchen, later this year.
Endings are especially bittersweet in Phoebe Waller-Bridge's tragicomedy series Fleabag. The final episode of the first season, as adapted from her one-woman Edinburgh Fringe play, saw the blindside reveal that she was implicated in her best friend's suicide after sleeping with her boyfriend.
It was the wildling Orell who said what would turn out to be one of the more prophetic lines on Game of Thrones when he told Jon Snow: "People work together when it suits them. They're loyal when it suits them. They love each other when it suits them, and they kill each other when it suits them."
The third episode of the second season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's acclaimed tragicomedy Fleabag ends with her visiting the new character known simply as 'The Priest' (played by Andrew Scott). He is the man set to marry her father and step-mother, and someone she has found herself seeking out more and more.
Landing on Netflix during the bleak opening weeks of 2019, Russian Doll proved an instant hit. The series about wild-eyed Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) who keeps dying on the night of her 36th birthday has a distinct energy to it, managing to kill its protagonist in increasingly creative ways without the time-loopsof the show becoming dull.
If you are familiar with the story of Diego Maradona: the start to his life in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires; the brawling at Barcelona; the journeys he took Napoli on to win the Serie A league title, and Argentina to win the world cup; the Hand of God; the towering murals of him around Naples; well...
Earlier this week, Barack Obama was spotted wearing a pair of black trainers while on holiday with his family in France. You might have recognised them, because it was the same pair that he teamed with a "44" emblazoned bomber jacket to watch a Duke-UNC basketball game in Toronto in February: 'Wool Runners' from eco-friendly trainer brand Allbirds.
A photograph of a single speckled egg has taken the title of most-liked image ever on Instagram, after a whirlwind campaign which began on 4 January of this year. At the time of writing, it's been double-tapped some 27,068,700 times. "It doesn't end here though, we're only just getting started.
The first season of cat-and-mouse assassin thrill ride Killing Eve was an anxiety attack in perfect 45 minute doses. The soundtrack pulsated off the screen, and the frothy pink dresses and luminous Berlin nightclubs lured you into a world where a knife being plunged into a chest only felt a few scenes away.
While admittedly 2019 has seen many great film releases, some of the biggest talking points in entertainment this year have been bought to us by the small screen. Whether it was the eccentric time-loops of Russian Doll , Fleabag toeing the line between sex and abuse of power or surprise hit captivating us for five brilliant episodes, Peak TV is giving us plenty of excuses to stay indoors.
In Wildlife, Montana is burning. Satanic orange flames swallow acres of trees while men are trucked in to tackle the blaze. But where Paul Dano's directorial debut truly finds its heat is a few miles away, in a newly rented house where marital tension is slowly burning.
If, like the rest of the self-loathing world, you started the new year with the resolution to read more and not stare blankly into the black mirror of your phone screen at every given opportunity - come on in!
While these days most supermarkets stock 15 flavour varieties of hummus, it wasn't so long ago that even the inhabitants of Islington weren't exactly sure what za'atar or sumac were. Thankfully, Londoners have caught on to the fact that there's more to the flavours of the Middle-East than a doner kebab, and as such the restaurant scene has blossomed accordingly in recent years.
This week, tousle-haired man of the moment Timothée Chalamet will appear in Beautiful Boy, the story of a teenager who spirals into crystal meth addiction and his subsequent years of relapses.
On 6th December Spotify released its annual music review feature for its users. Collating everything you've listened to this year, Spotify Wrapped reminds you in overwhelmingly granular detail: you do not have good music taste.
Paramedics were called to Toronto International Film Festival last year, after an audience member suffered a seizure while watching someone dig a shard of glass from inside their foot. The film which elicited such a strong response was Revenge, a rape-revenge tale that doubles as a deeply subversive look at the issues of consent, complete with pulsating French electro and gallons of scarlet blood.
Having made fans wait seven years for their 2017 album Humanz, Gorillaz latest release The Now Now arrives with less fuss but more flavour. It marks a return to the sound we saw in their excellent 2010 release, Plastic Beach, where the band hit a more reflective and personal tone than the cartoon character front which made them famous.
"One of the problems with science fiction," said Ridley Scott back in 2012 ahead of the release of Prometheus, "is the fact that everything is used up. Every type of spacesuit, every type of spacecraft is vaguely familiar. The corridors are similar, the planets are similar.
Forget Doctor Strange or Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch has finally landed the most ridiculous role of his career after being cast as Vote Leave campaign director and Michael Gove advisor Dominic Cummins in a new Channel 4 film about the EU referendum.
Do you taste particularly succulent when pan fried with some caramelised pineapple? Perhaps you turn scarlet when forced to defend Trident to the 'loony left' on Question Time? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you might just be a gammon.
If the success of The Handmaid's Tale at the Emmy's and the ecstatic reviews for this week's big cinema release Blade Runner 2049 are anything to go by, we are in the midst of a rich period for dystopian dramas. The former struck gold last month winning five of the 13 Emmy Awards it was nominated for.
So close is the 2018 FIFA World Cup you can almost smell the trapped body odour of a hundred replica jerseys jostling at the bar and almost taste the bitter disappointment of an inevitable quarter final exit.
Tonnes of rubbish dumped offshore, children standing up to adults in power, political corruption, the scapegoating of society's most vulnerable and even a suspicious poisoning: the metaphors for modern day come thick and fast in Wes Anderson's new film Isle Of Dogs.
Though you're unlikely to make it behind the red rope to any of the screenings, Cannes Film Festival is worth paying attention to if you want an idea of the films everyone will be talking about in 2018.
Is devoting your life to a spiritual guru and living on a commune on your mind all the time? Do you have a newfound contempt for 'normal society'? Are you suddenly wearing a lot of red clothes?
As Rita Hayworth knew when she lamented "Men fell in love with Gilda, but they wake up with me", people often want to meet the character not the actor. As such, when Vince Vaughn enters a room you're hoping he orders a round of shots before pulling you into a bear hug and saying "You're so money, baby" against your face, like Trent Walker his wise-cracking character from Swingers.
At roughly 5 o'clock on 9 November 2016, Aaron Sorkin was writing a letter. Five hours earlier, Hillary Clinton had conceded the presidency to Donald Trump and Sorkin had to leave his daughter and her mother in Los Angeles to start filming in Toronto. He wanted to reassure them.
You don't need another festival guide telling you to go to Glastonbury, not least because it's not even running this year. Still, it can be hard to find the inspiration to try something new when every summer the big weekenders serve up a tempting roster of artists along with the pull of nostalgia for that time you went and had a blinder.
Today the 'Silence Breakers' were named as Time's Person Of The Year, and never has the victor felt more just. The cover features five figures but carries the stories of women and men from 85 countries who stood up and said: "Me Too".
12 September 2012 was a landmark day for technology as two former high school friends launched an app which would alter how millions of people communicate. Their platform offered something far more exciting than somewhere to upload your over-edited holiday photos or stalk your friends: it was going to help you start a conversation with the pretty girl at the bar.
Whilst filming Jurassic Park I watched a hurricane approaching the beach in Hawaii. My co-worker Laura Dern and I thought we might die, but we managed to laugh about it later. I 'm most relaxed when mucking around on my farm. I'll do anything to avoid playing golf.
A new 'woke' drive has ruffled a few feathers. In truth, they probably don't go far enough If we're going to talk about army recruitment videos misrepresenting the experience of military service, we should probably start with this one from 1992.
On a similar trajectory to Indian restaurants before their recent revival, Thai food was oft relegated to sad takeaway boxes. A land of sugary green curries and limp spring rolls, devoid of the bright flavours that are the very essence of the cuisine. Then something happened.
2017 has been a sublime year for music (if nothing else). Long-awaited releases from indie bands like The XX and Alt-J punctuated the start of the year as well as ambient electronica from Bonobo and Portico Quartet. Grime had a hallmark year with impressive contributions from Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and the Stormzy album that took the world by, well, storm.
One thing that we can all agree on regarding this turd pile of a year is that we really needn't turn to fiction for villainous inspiration this Hallowe'en. After all, who can honestly be terrified by Pennywise the clown whilst Jacob Rees-Mogg walks among us?
It begins on a Watford council estate where he lived with his mother and worked as a bricklayer. There's a pit-stop at his arrest for drug possession while in the GB tracksuit and then straight on to the world heavyweight title happy ending.
Hilarious memoirs, gripping thrillers and alternate realities: the books to bag this summer Whether lounging by an infinity pool in Cannes or sweating it out in your local park, your reading material is essential. But finding something quicker to get through than War & Peace, but less embarrassing than The Da Vinci Code is a tricky task.
Last September, a much-shared Washington Post piece declared 'Millennials are filling their homes - and the void in their hearts - with houseplants'. Putting said void to one side, the piece was right in identifying a house plant trend that has been sprouting for some time.
In December 2017, Facebook's former vice-president of user growth Chamath Palihapitiya confessed to his "tremendous guilt" over creating "tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works."
Pink is back. You might not have noticed - after all, the pink we're talking about is a not-quite-pink pink, a pink that is harder to pin down than the Barbie's dream house Pantone 219C you were taught to hate as a child.
Earlier this month Ofcom released a report about the depth of our obsession with the internet. Though findings about how time online leads to relationships, friendships and sleep suffering may not be shocking, the amount of us trying to switch off was surprising.
Looking at him, you wouldn't believe Daniel Radcliffe has just woken up. Iced coffee in hand, wearing a tightly fitted green t-shirt and sporting a beard, he appears at ease with himself. It's just after 2pm at the Soho Hotel in London, but having grown up on film sets Radcliffe is used to sleeping whenever he can.
Last week I realised why modern dating is doomed. I was sat at a table piled with Aperol Spritz in a North London bar where the queue for a drink was a revolving door of attractive young people. But when I suggested approaching one of the girls around us, Tom - my single, nice, male friend - laughed at me.
I used to sleep all day, but now I'm up as soon as the sun rises. When you're young you're thrilled by nightclubs but then you realise the sun is actually the biggest glitter ball of all. And I'm having some of that. If I hadn't done music I would of probably got caught selling gear.
Ah, the work Christmas party. A hotbed of festive energy and workplace repression where no one emerges a winner. Here we chronicle the tragedies likely to befall your attempts to enjoy some festival cheer with people you have little in common with beyond a cluttered kitchen.
Sat in the middle of his London hotel room, Mark Wahlberg jumps to greet anyone that enters. Not exactly shy but quietly composed, he speaks with long pauses for thought between words. "I'm not as interesting on my own," he says, jokingly lamenting director Pete Berg who has just left.
Despite the wealth of delicious inspiration in Mexican cuisine, London has only recently caught up on making the most of it. Gone are the days where takeaway burrito spots and unadventurous Tex-Mex are the only Oaxaca offerings you can find in London.
"Arrestingly handsome" is a cliché that should be treated with caution, but it is what springs to mind when Gerard Butler walks into the room in a well-fitted dark suit accessorised with winter tan and low-key stubble. Flashing a warm smile and laughing, he barks "ready!"
Last month, it was reported 50 per cent of Britain's c urry houses would close within the next ten years. And yet, strangely enough, Indian food is currently basking in the glorious sun of culinary attention in the capital. A new kind of Indian cuisine is blossoming, one which melds traditional spice and flavour with modern techniques and ingredients.
In recent years festivals have gotten bigger, bolder, wilder, brighter and further away. A field in drizzly England and a warm can of cider won't cut it for some when social media is awash with people partying in abandoned quarries and dancing on mountains overlooking the sunrise.
Every year the festival offering grows a little larger, making it harder than ever to sort the overhyped from the genuinely unmissable. SEE ALSO: The World's Best Wellness Festivals Here, then, are some first-hand recommendations that won't let you down, whether you want a mind-bending party a thousand miles away or to drop in on a grown-up festival a bit nearer home.
We all like to think we're taste-makers when it comes to finding new music, imagining ourselves playlist aficionados who deftly create soundscapes to perfectly fit our lives of wild after-parties and pensive train journeys. Yet in reality you're probably still playing that 'Reading 09' collection, harbouring a growing resentment for Bloc Party and grimacing every time Mr Brightside comes on.
In Oxton, the small village in the Scottish borders where Jack Lowden grew up, the highlight of every year was a production put on by Galashiels Amateur Operatic Society. "I grew up on stages," the 27-year-old says, in the sort of soft Scottish accent that makes any observation sound warm and funny.
Christmas is a time for family, which might prove difficult if you can't look them in the eye given their political inclinations. The cliché of having to spend the holidays humouring your racist uncle holds a little more bite this year, and a game of KerPlunk won't fix that particular rift.
The Instagram game has moved on. A shot of your legs in front of a swimming pool (12 likes) is no longer enough to impress anyone - now you need to be levitating above the water with the body of an elite athlete, clinking mojitos with Leonardo DiCaprio and thanking the sea for always being there to hold you up.
"He's number 73 on the TIME 100 for animals," says Tom Hardy, pointing to his Labrador rescue dog, Woody, who is lying by the door, more asleep than on guard. "He beat Jaws." The Oscar-nominated actor - who famously has a soft spot for canines (the Instagram account ' Tom Hardy holding dogs' has over 71,000 followers) - takes Woody everywhere, even, it seems, product launches.
With only a matter of days - or hours if you're keen - until this year's Glastonbury, it's likely you've already packed your 'festival fashion', planned how to make the journey with minimum trauma and carefully highlighted Earth, Wind & Fire on your laminated schedule.
"This corridor looks like The Shining," I say into the back of the man leading me over a particularly unsettling geometric carpet. "Yes," he replies, "A lot of people say that." I'm walking through a strange building in London's Chancery Lane for my first session of hypnotherapy which I've agreed to in order to overcome my issues with anxiety.
Last weekend Chinese diver He Zi won an Olympic silver medal and was just being presented with it when her boyfriend decided it was the dream moment to pop the question, causing millions of people around the world to think: Jesus Christ mate, not now.
There is a moment in Fever Pitch where Colin Firth's character argues with his girlfriend while they're watching the Hillsborough disaster unfurl. After she declares it will be the end of football he tells her they'll replay that very game, "It's not just me you don't get" he yells, "It's any of us."
Thursday, 7.40pm. You're meeting friends for dinner and you're looking forward to the simple pleasure of picking whatever food you fancy and having it made for you. But embossed on an off-white menu in your hand are the two most annoying words you will ever encounter in a restaurant: small plates.
With the average age of first-time house buyers having risen to 35, there have never been so many of us renting. But even if you have got on the ladder, the immediate dilemma you face is the same: how to create the cool, comfortable pad of your dreams that in no way resembles your student digs with their IKEA flat packs and Bolognese stains on the sofa.
The Daily Telegraph
This was taken while I was on tour for my album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie . I was travelling a lot and whenever I came back to my hometown, Ottawa, I would rush over to my grandmother's house.
I grew up on a horse farm in the middle of South Africa so I've always had a connection with nature, but living somewhere entirely landlocked also made me appreciate the sea. I went scuba diving at the age of 18 but it felt limiting to be encumbered with equipment.
Only someone living under a rock could have failed to notice the rise of the adult colouring book. For the past two years, since Johanna Basford's Secret Garden came out (it's now sold two million copies worldwide), they have been flooding the bestseller lists, with Harry Potter, Taylor Swift and even Sherlock Holmes-themed books joining the more classically beautiful.
My phone usually lights up long before my alarm goes in the morning - strings of messages sent from miles away with the hope there's someone waiting to read them. Before my eyes even focus I know I'm reading a conversation that has already begun and ended without my input.
Hugh Cornwell, 66, is a British musician and songwriter. He was the founding lead singer and guitarist of the Stranglers and is now a solo artist. His album The Fall and Rise of Hugh Cornwell is out now, and he is touring for the rest of the month. He lives in Wiltshire.
Jamie Hewlett, 47, is best known as the co-creator of the comic Tank Girl and, with Damon Albarn, the band Gorillaz and the opera Monkey: Journey to the West. He divides his time between London and Paris with his wife, Emma. His first art exhibition, The Suggestionists, is at the Saatchi Gallery in London until December 2.
Leon Bridges is the Instagram-filtered poster boy of the soul revival. A stylish but timid Texan blending mellifluous Sam Cooke-style vocals with a laid back groove reminiscent of Otis Redding, he's proved popular: in June, his nostalgia-inflected debut album, Comin' Home, reached number five in the British charts, despite the fact he only made his live debut on these shores three months earlier.
'We supported ourselves by working in a restaurant,' says Ingrams. 'We were on a hash-brown diet for a while because the commissions we got were repaying money we had already spent.' But soon, through the word of mouth of happy customers, orders began to flow in.
This was taken in Picasso's studio in Vallauris, near Cannes. It was a circus-like place filled with hills. I still remember the smell of the kilns and the mimosas growing. I used to visit the pottery terrace every day, and Picasso could see me from his studio at the top of the hill.
Sophie Conran, 50, is a British interior designer, cook and author. The daughter of the designer and restaurateur Sir Terence Conran and the food writer Caroline Conran, she lives in Kensington with her husband, Nicholas, and has two children, Felix, 21, and Coco, 19. Conran is celebrating a decade with the homeware brand Portmeirion this year.
Matt Haig, 40, is a novelist and journalist whose bestselling memoir of mental illness, Reasons to Stay Alive (Canongate Books), is out in paperback now. He lives in Brighton with his wife, Andrea, and children, Lucas and Pearl. Here he shares the 8 objects he feels define him.
Late nights taking their toll? We may have the answer: superpowered drinks that target stressed skin, insomnia - and, yes, even your hangover... THE DE-STRESSER Kings Road Apothecary California Poppy Sleep Elixir ￼Based in Los Angeles, Scottish herbalist Rebecca Altman teaches classes on herbalism and creates her own ointments, tonics and beauty products for her company, The Kings Road Apothecary.
Consistently unearthing new names for sell-out events over the past few years, it has been hard to avoid two of Northern England's most prominent nights-Louche and Jaunt. Their recent unification with the Red Bull Music Academy at London's Plan B further cemented their reputation as quality purveyors of house and bass music.
Connected, which recently touched down at Cable London with a lineup that included Waifs & Strays, Krankbrothers and No Artificial Colours, generally deals with all things house, and this night was no exception.
Hometown of countless electronic music pioneers and more recently the meeting place of the four boys behind Visionquest, Detroit has little left to prove in its significance in electronic music. Visionquest have pushed a unique blend of upbeat deep house and eclectic techno in their DJ and live sets ever since they joined forces.
Last month Manchester's dance powerhouse The Warehouse Project announced that this year they will be stripping back their events programme, marking a move away from the monster schedule that usually runs throughout the winter season. Only recently, however, had The Warehouse Project rehoused itself in a huge space outside of...