Simon Round

Norwood adopts merger venture

By Simon Round, April 11, 2014

Norwood is merging its adoption services with children's charity Coram.

The move has been made in response to new legislation intended to speed up the adoption process. This had created a problem for Norwood, chief executive Elaine Kerr explained. "Our team is very small and if we were to keep pace with the new legislation we would need a much larger number of people to respond appropriately.

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Pop art queen’s quiet fame

By Simon Round, March 27, 2014

Deborah Azzopardi’s paintings are sold in poster, print and greeting card form globally. And if you do not know her name, you will almost certainly recognise examples of her work, sold worldwide by Ikea and retailers in 50 countries. But what is perhaps more eye-opening is how she became an artist in the first place.

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He’s turned the screen Scarlett after a long and alien journey

By Simon Round, March 13, 2014

Jonathan Glazer is not a man in a hurry. It has been 10 years since his last movie, Birth — a discomfiting love story between Nicole Kidman and a child claiming to be her reincarnated husband. Now, finally, he has a new film. Like its predecessor, Under the Skin is dividing audiences.

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If Israel can survive, so can an independent Scotland

By Simon Round, March 7, 2014

I’ve been watching developments in the Scots independence debate. I know we Sassenachs don’t have a vote but there are still pros and cons to the process which deserve to be debated seriously.

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Pluck of the Irish — TV shows Belfast survival fight

By Simon Round, March 6, 2014

Belfast is a city which has been defined down the years by religious fervour and sectarianism. But amid the Troubles, another smaller community has existed quietly for more than a century.

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Jay Rayner has even more on his plate as he tunes up for JW3 jazz gig

By Simon Round, March 6, 2014

In every series of Masterchef comes the day when the nervous amateur contestants are told that they are to cook for restaurant reviewers. A regular in this slot is is Jay Rayner, the Observer’s critic. He and his fellow critics walk in, steely eyed, to pronounce on the efforts of the contestants. Sometimes they are encouraging and occasionally scathing of the food which is presented to them.

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Ukrainian Jews voice fears over safety

By Simon Round, February 21, 2014

Ukrainian Jews have voiced concern for their country’s future in the wake of the protests sweeping the country.

Journalist and photographer Alexander Shulman told the JC that the instability has already prompted antisemitism in Ukraine. “There have been attacks near yeshivas and synagogues. These have been provocations on both sides of the conflict in order to attract attention abroad.”

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Our schools aren't all that bad, Mr Gove

By Simon Round, February 7, 2014

I have some good news for Michael Gove. The Education Secretary has been calling for state secondary schools to provide a standard of education worthy of Winchester or Eton despite the cuts his government has imposed, which means they have to do so so on around £20,000 less per child than the top public schools.

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Man in the kitchen: Carpe diem: a fishy tale

By Simon Round, February 3, 2014

I have always loved fish. For my family, Friday was fried fish night, a legacy of my grandmother’s Sephardi tradition which was passed down to my dad. Not only did we have fried fish on Friday nights but we tended to have stories of the sea told with dinner. My dad was a Navy pilot in the Second World War and he never seemed to run out of tales of his exploits on the seven seas.

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She's feeling a little Flush after the return to TV of Dorien

By Simon Round, January 30, 2014

In the quarter of a century since Birds of a Feather first became a massive TV hit, Lesley Joseph has become well-known to viewers as Dorien Green. And whereas many actresses would rail against being typecast, Joseph has no problem with it. In fact, every now and then she even dresses up as her sitcom persona. “If I’m going to a function I might occasionally go as her,” Joseph reveals.

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Man in the kitchen:Scotch not to be missed

By Simon Round, January 27, 2014

Tomorrow is Burns Night which is a significant event in my family. You see, I am Scottish. To be more precise my mother’s father was first-generation Glaswegian and although he left Scotland in his 20s and lived the rest of his life in the south of England, that still makes me Scottish enough to play football for the national team if I am good enough.

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Interview: Samantha Ellis

By Simon Round, January 20, 2014

Samantha Ellis can pinpoint the exact moment when the idea for her literary memoir How To Be a Heroine came into her head.

She was on a visit to Brontë country with her friend, Emma. Ellis's favourite Brontë character had always been Cathy Earnshaw in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights: "I was genuinely surprised and shocked that Emma was championing [Charlotte Brontë's] Jane Eyre.

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Review: Birds of a Feather

By Simon Round, January 17, 2014

Some 15 years have passed since the last episode of this hugely popular '90s sitcom and there has been a major change - the BBC turned down the opportunity of a new series and so Sharon, Tracey and Dorien have decamped to ITV.

That aside, all is much as you will remember - Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson are still the bickering sisters from Chigwell and Lesley Joseph plays "the slapper from nex

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Interview: Dan Patterson

By Simon Round, January 17, 2014

Producer and writer Dan Patterson freely admits to being an addict.

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Interview: Jonathan Teplitzky

By Simon Round, January 17, 2014

If your filmic preference is a storyline about a man struggling to recover from trauma, look no further than Jonathan Teplitzky.

Two years ago, the Australian director released Burning Man - a powerful drama about a chef whose life disintegrates following the death of his partner from cancer.

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Man in the kitchen: enough of the carb curb

By Simon Round, January 13, 2014

W e are now 10 days into the new year health drive. You haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since New Year’s eve and your fridge has all the ingredients for a daily spinach smoothie. So, enough already. You see, the irony about this idea of dieting in mid-winter is that this is precisely the time when your body craves carbs and calories to counteract the cold.

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In the future, we'll all be working at Starbucks

By Simon Round, January 10, 2014

January, as we all know, is detox time, so I’ve been thinking that I should start cutting down on my consumption of that well known Colombian powder which has been in the news so much lately... coffee.

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Where are they now? Bickering like it was 1998

By Simon Round, January 9, 2014

Birds of a Feather (ITV)

Some 15 years have passed since the last episode of this hugely popular ’90s sitcom and there has been a major change — the BBC turned down the opportunity of a new series and so Sharon, Tracey and Dorien have decamped to ITV.

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Man in the kitchen: Dhal L for lentils

By Simon Round, January 8, 2014

A s you will remember from last week’s column we got the new year health drive off to an early start with a saintly meal of chicken poached in its own stock.

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Man in the kitchen: Detox with a zingy zhug

By Simon Round, December 31, 2013

OK, we all know the deal. Several celebrations have come and gone and in only a few days’ time we will be in January — the detox month. It doesn’t really matter who you are or what community you come from, the entire nation will be united in the new year in panicking and joining a gym.

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