There's plenty to be proud of when it comes to UK culture and our national image. And that's important as it attracts people from around the world to visit, study here and do business with us. The world may (wrongly this week) think that our weather's terrible - but the sun never sets on UK culture, and it shines all around the world.
The 2014 Edinburgh Festival is imminent. I am excited. My latest play, Fragile is being staged on the fringe. It is an autobiographical narrative about how I was sexually abused when I was eleven years old. It is not a comedy.
Travelling is extremely popular with students and graduates but we don't always have the time (or money!) to go gallivanting around the world for months. I have just got back from 8 glorious days in bella Italia- no, not the restaurant- beautiful Italy!
British Muslims are an extremely enterprising community. They contribute over £31billion to the UK economy every year. Over 100,000 British Muslims are civil servants, doctors, lawyers and accountants. In London alone, small businesses run by Muslims employ over 70,000 people... The majority of people view British Muslims as contributing well to our national way of life. Let us build on and strengthen that. While I'm fasting this weekend - when I'm hungry and thirsty - I will be thinking about what I can do to promote a more positive view of British Muslims - I think we should all do the same.
Yesterday I headed out to the theatre to see the wonderful Richard Armitage take on the audience at The Old Vic in an atmospheric and ambitious performance of Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' on a balmy Wednesday afternoon to celebrate my anniversary.
First there was Chick Lit, then came Dog Lit. And I confess, Dog Lit has become my guilty pleasure. I read it all from memoirs about naughty Labradors to novels about Eskimos and their sled dogs.
Of course we could use more money - we had far more applicants to our National portfolio than we could afford to support. Yes, there is more to do in terms of the balance of the Arts Council's investment and yes, progress is slow - but it is purposeful and targeted. Overall investment outside London has actually increased in this National portfolio round.
The story of a jilted wife, who murders her children as a way of revenge against her soon-to-be ex-husband is always going to be dark but Carrie Cracknell, in this new version of Euripides' work by Ben Power, brings us a genuinely disturbing production.
Her current notoriety is due almost entirely to the producers of the film John Maloof and Charlie Siskel. They are obsessed with digging up her personal history to find out why she never entered the canon of great street photographers sanctioned by the art world establishment.
Our news broadcasters are there as public servers, they support and accommodate for the whole of the country which includes, all of our multicultural society. Whilst, Fox News only focuses on one particular agenda which doesn't bring any benefit for their country.
We live in a hugely connected world but our points of reference can still be quite limited to the English-speaking world. Through programmes like YCE, the British Council can identify what's going on outside the confines of the usual places we look to. We connect our global entrepreneurs with the UK and with each other, and sow the seeds for international knowledge sharing and collaborations.
This Wednesday 23rd July sees DC Comics proclaim the day, otherwise known to the comic-book buying fans such as myself as New Comic Book Day, as Batman's official 75th birthday.
Here we are, seven years on from the publication of the final Harry Potter book. In its first 24 hours Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows went on to sell over 15 million copies. An astonishing figure that followed the hype, secrecy and excitement surrounding the publication of JK Rowling's final piece of an intricate seven-book journey.
Times are changing. Self-publishing is no longer 'vanity publishing' - a vaguely embarrassing exercise in assuaging one's writerly ambitions by paying large sums of money for a small run of leather-bound copies of a book - but a very real and increasingly credible alternative to mainstream publishing.
Whatever preconceived ideas you have on 20th Century South American art, prepare to have them thrown out the window in this sensational exhibition at the Royal Academy.
Beth Cullen has lived a double life, at least professionally. She gained a first class honours degree in sculpture at John Moores University in Liverpool in 1994, and a subsequent post-graduate degree in sculpture and bronze casting at The Royal College of Art.