‘The show needed to come back’: how Drake rescued the druglords of Top Boy

It was Britains answer to The Wire. But the gang drama was dead until the rapper stepped in and pitched it to Netflix. Its stars and writer talk grime, gentrification and Boris Johnsons Britain I told them I was on my way out to meet some singer called Drake, says writer Drake was a fan of Top Boy, Bennetts Channel 4 drama about the lives of drug dealers and residents on a fictional Hackney estate called Summerhouse. He had been recommended it while on tour and loved it so much, he began posting stills from the show on Instagram with clumsy attempts at London slang (real bod man). When he found out it had been cancelled, he decided to bring …

‘No food should be taboo’: how to tackle your child’s weight without giving them a complex

A third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. Heres how parents can help them forge good habits and avoid creating lifelong insecurities Jusna Begum lives near the South Bank in London with her four children, aged between one and 11. When a health visitor told her that her three-year-old girl was on the chubby side, Begum was surprised. I didnt think she was at all; I had felt like my children werent eating enough. She did, however, accept an invitation to join a six-week healthy parenting programme called 2% of those aged five to one-third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, yet many adults dont see …

I was a drug addict for nearly 20 years. There was nothing dignified or cool about it | Chris Fleming

I spent half my waking hours acquiring and using drugs and the other half trying to hide that fact Ive been an academic in the humanities now for almost 20 years, and so telling people that youre writing a book called On Drugs invites an inevitable series of nods, smirks and winks of jokes about doing empirical research in the area, of possibilities for applying for grants and getting funding. (While an addict, I would have certainly appreciated more funding.) One colleague, on hearing I was writing this book, joked that I should make up something juicy, like that I smoked crack, almost died and went through some fancy rehab. The fact, though I didnt say as much, was that …

Ooh, Matron! Why Carry On films refuse to remain dead

The return of Britains direst comedy franchise is thankfully nothing but a recurring rumour but the fact that its persisting is cause for national alarm Great news! The Carry On films are coming back! Finally, a win for Britain. We might have become the global punchline to an unfunny joke, and things are almost certainly going to get worse, and were all going to die penniless and humiliated, scavenging for food with our broken fingernails, but the Carry On films are coming back! At last, well get to show the world what were really good at: dirt cheap films that highlight our collective national fear of sexual arousal. Except theyre probably not coming back. Despite a flurry of excited noise …

Swiss women strike to demand equal pay

Hundreds of thousands protest against culture of sexism in everday life Hundreds of thousands of women across Switzerland have taken to the streets to demand higher pay, greater equality and more respect, protesting that one of the worlds wealthiest countries continues to treat half its population unfairly. Nearly 30 years after the first nationwide equal rights demonstration by Swiss women, a purple wave of pram marches, whistle concerts, extended lunch breaks, giant picnics and city-centre rallies took place on Friday. In 2019, we are still looking for equality, Clara Almeida Lozar, one of the committee women organising the Grve des Femmes or Frauenstreik at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, told Swissinfo. We realise there has to be …

Murders of three trans women in Texas underline increasing dangers across US

Three black trans women have been killed in Texas since October, and activists believe that attacks are on the rise due to a hostile political climate The transgender community in Dallas was still had been found in a lake, making her the second black trans woman murdered in the city in the space of a fortnight. Three black trans women in their 20s have now been said during the ceremony, standing at the altar next to a blue coffin adorned with flowers. Her back has been against the wall so many times and thats one of the reasons I didnt want her to be who she was, because its already hard for a black man. Then a black gay man …

‘I wouldn’t be the refugee, I’d be the girl who kicked ass’: how taekwondo made me

The long read: When she arrived in the US as a 10-year-old refugee, Dina Nayeri found it hard to fit in. But that all changed when she hatched a plan to get into Harvard by becoming a taekwondo champion When I was 13, three years after arriving in the US with my mother and brother, I devised a plan to get into the Ivy League. I was a refugee kid with no money and I lived in Iran, she had done horse-riding and tennis. But then the revolution happened, and her sporty body was draped and forgotten. Banned from public exercise, she took to pounding her ass against walls to get that chic, saddle-flattened effect of the late 70s. Sometimes …

Most of us feel sleepy in the afternoon. Why cant work fit round that? | Andre Spicer

Now a third of Britons are sleep-deprived, work should be more flexible, says Andr Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour at the Cass Business School In the early afternoon, I often catch myself listlessly staring into the computer screen. I have things to do, but I cant concentrate. I try writing the same sentence five times and delete it six. During one of these afternoon torpors, I came upon a word: acedia. It seemed to perfectly define my mid-afternoon weariness. I discovered this originally Greek word was widely used by medieval Christian monks to describe a sense of indolence, a mood of lethargy, a feeling of being completely unconcerned about their duties and purpose in the world. Christian mystics who lived …

Why we are addicted to conspiracy theories

The long read: Outsiders and the disenfranchised have always embraced the existence of wild plots and cover-ups. But now the biggest conspiracy-mongers are in charge In January 2015, I spent the longest, queasiest week of my life on a cruise ship filled with conspiracy theorists. As our boat rattled toward Mexico and back, I heard about every wild plot, secret plan and dark cover-up imaginable. It was mostly fascinating, occasionally exasperating and the cause of a headache that took months to fade. To my pleasant surprise, given that I was a reporter travelling among a group of deeply suspicious people, I was accused of working for the CIA only once. The unshakeable certainty possessed by many of the conspiracy theorists …