We definitely need more disabled people in adverts, on TV and in movies. But hey, it's a start. Scope research says some 90% of disabled people believe that having more disabled people in the media would improve attitudes to disability. For me, the Paralympics changed everything. Disability in Australia was seen quite differently after the 2000 Paralympics and I think a similar thing happened here in the UK. I think the games made disability not only okay, but wonderful. But unfortunately in Britain there's a real stigma attached to benefits and I think somehow that has become associated with disability.
So glad I was in the park that day and the way things are going, I'm really excited about the future and doing more films. It sure beats working for a living!
She was there all along, she just got lost. Amy has really made me understand that. She was coming back to us, she was back on her feet and there were plans for new music and babies right before she died. Kapadia said "once people see the film they realise she was amazing and special and we should have looked after her." We really should have.
I found it oddly comfortable to return to writing a heroine rather than a hero - my first female lead since I wrote The Chosen One, published under my pseudonym, Sam Bourne, in 2010. I instantly felt at ease, guided by that sense that I knew Madison - how she would think, how she would speak, even how she would try to get to sleep in the long, slow hours of the night.
With the latest terrorist tragedy in Tunisia however, ordinary Brits are looking at their holiday itineraries and realising that totally "safe" destinations are becoming increasingly scarce. So I thought I might use my vast experience in these things to help out. I'll go through some options and have a look at a couple of places that you might be considering for your next break. I'll be like the Foreign Office but... better.
The media after her death in July 2011, focussed on her alcohol and drug abuse. But they didn't mention her bulimia, nor the depression she wrestled with since she was a teen. The new documentary film on her life directed by Asif Kapadia sets the record straight, telling the tale of a brilliant woman who was plagued with self-doubt and deficient in resilience.
Helen was cancer to last year's Big Brother house and this year's series was equally affected. I can only feel sorry for the housemates who auditioned for this year's series, rather than last year's but ended up having to live with the corrupted, twisted, rotten woman.
Whenever I see an old documentary about the 70s (or the 90s more recently) there always seems to be some old boy, talking-head saying "Well, everything had gotten so stale, people were bored of the same faces and same shit coming out. It was ripe for a shake-up". I feel like that about now.
Mod was very often routed in class. Working class young men who wanted to look super smart when they went out at the weekend and would save for months to buy the right clothes. Add into the mix a carefully selected mix of music, a penchant for drugs to keep them dancing all night and the desire to prove they were not defined by a dreary office job - and you have a template that can be repeated whatever the year.
The banging beats of Leftfield's epic Sonic Stage headline set shall live forever in my heart (sorry Kanye), and I know if we apply the same dedication to recovery as we did to partying last week we'll be back to normal in no time.
Hats off to the The Motherf**ker with the Hat, a motherfu**king powerful play that's well worth catching during its London premiere run this month and next at the National Theatre.
The current debates around gender bias in live music (specifically festival lineups) are important but people are focused too closely on the big names and headliners. I think we learn more looking at the smaller stages and events specifically aimed at 'emerging artists'. I've done two quick bits of number crunching in that area and found more optimistic results.
When William M. Hoffman's play 'As Is' was first performed in New York 30 years ago, it was hailed by critics as being the most powerful play of the year, and the first of it's kind.
If anything festivals are starting to lead the way in demonstrating how deaf and disabled people can fully enjoy the whole experience alongside their family and friends. In my own experience many of the big festivals are going beyond the simple legal access requirements and doing more than paying lip service to accessibility.
My radio show on Xfm is a testament to how loved and important these artists have become and so, this fourth of July... I want to declare "Independents Day" and share the stories of four of the world's best loved indie labels.
Emily Young is regarded as Britain's greatest living stone sculptor. Not for her the pristine slabs of Carrara marble. She revels in those ragged off-cuts that lay at the back of old stone quarries near her home in Tuscany, sometimes wearing, as she puts it, dark overcoats of disguise.