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November 1, 2017

RIBA Stirling Prize 2017: Hastings Pier crowned UK’s best new building

A pier rebuilt after a devastating fire has been crowned the UK’s best new building.

Dating from 1872, Hastings Pier was ravaged by fire in 2010 and had closed two years earlier because of storm damage.

The structure, on the East Sussex coast and overlooking the English Channel, was rebuilt and has been described by judges as a “phoenix risen from the ashes”.

Designed by dRMM Architects, it has been awarded this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

RIBA president and prize jury chairman Ben Derbyshire praised the structure as a “masterpiece of regeneration and [...]

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October 29, 2017

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 week 6: Game of Thrones and ghosts can’t save the stars this Halloween

Without a doubt, the winners on Strictly Come Dancing this week are the hair, make-up and costume team. From Game of Thrones to glittery ghosts, the dancefloor was alight with incredible characters from all walks of life (and death). 

However, the pressure was tangible in week six as several celebrities struggled in performances that provided style over substance in more ways than one. 

Crowd favourite Jonnie Peacock opened the show with a pirate-themed performance of the “chargh-chargh-chargh”. Past the terrifying pun, the fast-paced dance felt less impressive after his first “9” score last week.

The [...]

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October 22, 2017

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 week 5 recap: Feel good slapstick and romance make up for Bruno’s absence

It was a generous, colourful evening full of love for Week Five on Strictly Come Dancing, despite the obvious missing firecracker. For the first time in the show’s history, judge Bruno Tonioli was not on the panel this evening. 

Due to a busy work schedule, Bruno took a week out and each performance was scored out of 30 instead of 40 in his absence. However, the 12 remaining celebrities brought vibrant energy and buckets of feel good footwork throughout the night. 

Off the back of his nerve-wracking performance in the dance-off last weekend, Eastenders actor Davood Ghadami kicked off the show with an upbeat barista-themed jive. Finally finding the perfect dance to [...]

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October 20, 2017

2017 Man Booker Prize-winner George Saunders: ‘Having a panel of judges approve of what you’re doing is really empowering’

Days after George Saunders’s novel Lincoln in the Bardo won this year’s Man Booker Prize, the US author is still numb.

Sitting in the cozy reading room of London’s Charlotte Street Hotel, Saunders tells me the book was initially inspired by an anecdote he first heard about Abraham Lincoln while in Washington DC with his wife and her cousin 20 years ago: at the beginning of the Civil War, after the death of his son, a bereft Lincoln reportedly visited his child’s body in the Georgetown Cemetery on numerous occasions. The story sparked an idea for Saunders, but it was left to gestate for the next couple of decades before he decided to really develop it.

The book’s [...]

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