Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 611

FREE 4 August 2022 Game changers! As the nation basks in the glory of England’s Lionesses, Clare Balding reflects on a landmark success that has created a legacy for the future of women’s sport, p48

4 AUGUST 202 2 2 NEWS&VIEWS been produced, but soon experienced other benefits. “You’re out in the fresh air getting gentle exercise and social interaction,” he says. “There is such amix of people at allotment sites, young and old.” A 2015 study of 136 allotmenteers, published in the Journal of Public Health, showed that just one session on their plot resulted in significantly better self-esteem and general health, and they experienced less depression and fatigue, andmore vigour. This was particularly important during lockdown. “People were outside, more than twometres fromothers, yet with some distant company. Many people have told me it saved their minds,” saysMike. Lauren adds: “During lockdown, we worked with the government tomake sure people still had access to their allotments and we know this helpedmany to cope – people could be outside in a place they felt safe.” She believes there’ll soon be another surge in plot demand, to help people supplement food bills, and the society is busy working with their patron, HRHThe Prince of Wales, on this. “So far, 12 new sites have been created, for PlatinumAllotments celebrating The Queen’s Jubilee, but we needmore.” Securing a precious plot can take years, but National Allotments Week aims to show that growing your own – and the benefits it brings – makes it well worth the wait, writes Faith Eckersall Sowing the seeds for a better way of living They get us outside in the fresh air, help to savemoney on food and improve our physical andmental wellbeing. Now allotments are also benefiting wildlife, via a new citizen science project to be launched during National AllotmentsWeek, from8-14 August. Bugs, Bees and Broccoli is this year’s theme for the National Allotment Society’s annual event, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022. “Although some plants self-pollinate, most require pollinators to transfer the pollen from themale part of the vegetable to the female part for fruit to develop,” says Lauren Lawless of the National Allotment Society. “Without pollinators, allotments would be barren and would have no harvest.” The society has teamed up with the charity Buglife, which has devised a survey for allotmenteers to record insects living on their plot. Along with detailed images of insect types, there is a table for recording them, which should take around 30minutes to complete. “We know allotments are a complex web of plants, micro-organisms, fungi and insects that support ecosystem services,” says Lauren. “Nowwe want to look at themas wildlife refuges, especially in urban areas.” The society is also encouraging schoolchildren to take part in the Big Bug Hunt during the school holidays, which can be conducted in any green space they can safely access. The school which sees the most bug hunts returned in their region will win a prize. “Buglife will use the information to look at the best way allotments can help preserve and increase the number of pollinating insects,” explains Lauren. In addition to the bug hunt, member associations will be holding open days throughout National AllotmentsWeek, as well as a compost safari in Leicester, run by master composter RodWeston. While allotments have been around since Saxon times, there is no exact record of how many there are, although the society believes it’s around 330,000. Some of these plots have been handed down through families but, says Lauren: “The waiting lists can be lengthy – a person in Camden finally secured a plot in 2021 after waiting for more than 18 years.” A large part of the society’s work is with councils and landowners, hoping to secure greater provision and funding. “Allotments are often overlooked as community places and when there’s money to be spent on outdoor spaces, we try and ensure they get a share,” says Lauren. This is important, because not only do well-managed allotments benefit wildlife, they also benefit humans. Mike Cantillon, the society’s southern region secretary, has worked his plot in Andover, Hampshire for almost 20 years, and enjoys various member benefits, including a seed discount scheme. “Likemany people in post-war Britain, I was brought up with allotments, so when I retired in 2002, I decided allotmenteering would bemy retirement job,” saysMike. He liked knowing how his vegetables had bug’s life Research supports the idea that having an allotment to grow your own produce boosts wellbeing, the local environment and the local community ‘You’re out in the fresh air getting gentle exercise and social interaction. There’s such a mix of people’ Cover Photography: Catherine Ivill - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images Photography: The National Allotment Society, Getty Images, Wollaton Hall

4 AUGUST 202 2 3 PLASTIC PIONEERS Six UK ärms have been awarded a total of £1.2 million to reduce plastic pollution in India, Chile, South Africa and Kenya. The inaugural International Circular Plastics Flagship Competition was set up by climate action charity Wrap to help prevent plastic waste and emissions. Winning innovations include a fully compostable seaweedbased älm, and technology that separates multilayer plastics so they can be recycled into new products. TIME FOR TEA Prep the scones as Afternoon Tea Week starts on 8 August. Whether you go Devon with cream atop jam, or reversed, Cornish style, be sure to serve them warm with clotted cream and lashings of strawberry jam. See waitrose.com for recipes to bake. FULL CIRCLE FASHION John Lewis has partnered with The Salvation Army for a new fashion take-back scheme called FashionCycle. My John Lewis members will receive a £5 voucher off in-store clothes or homeware in return for äve items of selected preloved clothing. Donations will be sorted into grades A-C, with the best sold in Salvation Army shops and grade C broken down into äbres for repurposing. See johnlewis.com/ our-services/fashioncycle TEENY TINY T-REX One of the largest dinosaurs ever exhibited in the UK is on display alongside one of the smallest at Wollaton Hall in Nottingham. Sculptor Willard Wigan has made his miniature Tyrannosaurus rex tiny enough to ät inside the eye of a needle. It can be viewed under a microscope next to a real life-sized T-Rex skeleton as part of the Titus: T. Rex is King exhibition. THE GOOD NEWS GUIDE A weekly round-up of uplifting stories Scientists need help to understand our daily diets Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or carnivorous, researchers conducting a new study are calling on citizen scientists to help themfind out what food we are putting on our plate. Backed by theWorldHealth Organisation, researchers on the Feeding the Future team at the University of Oxford are looking for 5,000 volunteers to complete a short, one-o online survey by the end of September, to help themunderstand why you choose your diet and what you eat, day to day. Open to all UK adults, the survey aims to build a picture of the nation’s eating habits, and increase understanding of how disease risks may vary for di erent diets.“In the short term, the results from this study will improve our understanding of what UK adults are eating and why,” says study lead, nutritional epidemiologist Dr Keren Papier. “In the long term, we hope the survey results will increase our understanding of how disease risks may be di erent in low and non-meat eaters, and inform future research and dietary recommendations.” To take part, go to oxford.onlinesurveys. ac.uk/feeding-the-future-study-feed Alice Ryan Best before dates to be removed in fight against food waste The familiar best before date on packaging will be removed fromnearly 500 fresh products atWaitrose stores – including a variety of fruit, veg and salad items – in order to reduce the volume of foodwaste in homes. FromSeptember, people should use their own judgement to decide whether their fruit and veg is still fresh enough to eat, rather than throwing it away based on a printed date. Themove is part of the supermarket’s commitment to help customers cut food waste, which is amajor contributor to climate change. In the UK, 70%of all food wasted is by people in their own homes. “UK households throw away 4.5million tonnes of edible food every year, meaning that all the energy and resources used in food production is wasted too,” says Marija Rompani, Partner and director of sustainability and ethics. “By removing best before dates, we want our customers to use their own judgement to decide whether a product is good to eat or not, which will improve its chances of being eaten. Using up existing food in our climate commitment Best before dates on nearly 500Waitrose products will be gone from September homes alsomeans we can save on our weekly household food shop, which is becoming an increasingly pressing concern for many.” In the UK, best before dates are designed to showcase food quality – the food is at its best before the date printed, but should still be fine to eat after that date has passed. However, use by dates will still be in place across all relevant products for safety. Items due to lose date labels include: lettuce, cucumber, peppers, potted herbs, salad onions, tomatoes, root veg, leeks, celery, mushrooms, potatoes, brassicas, melons, apples, pears, plums, grapes, citrus and exotic fruits, plus indoor and outdoor plants. “Best before dates are unnecessary and create food waste because they get in the way of people using their judgement when food is still good to eat,” says Catherine David fromanti food waste charityWrap. “We are absolutely delighted by this move from Waitrose, and we estimate that removing dates on fresh fruit and vegetables could save the equivalent of sevenmillion shopping baskets of food from the bin.” Emma Higginbotham

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4 AUGUST 202 2 5 NEWS&VI EWS Illustration: Amelia Flower/Folioart WEEK 29: BUYING BRITISH BLOOMS I don’t buy cut flowers often, preferring to make unusual posies fromwhatever grows in the garden, even if it’s mostly foliage. But when you’re gifting flowers, a bunch of leaves can seema little underwhelming. An occasion calls for a proper, fragrant bouquet. According to Friends of the Earth, the main issues with cut flowers is their carbon footprint, which includes pesticide, land and water use, and thematerials used to package and display them. Research suggests imported flowers can tot up 10 times the CO2 emissions of a homegrown bouquet. Many flowers on sale here come from Holland, where a Lancaster University study found that artificial heating and lighting used to grow themmeans they carry a carbon footprint equal to Kenyan flowers that have high emissions due to transportation. One mitigating factor is if imported flowers are certified Fairtrade, as growers benefit from the scheme’s 10%premium. Otherwise, British flowers are the way to go and, in summer, you can have your pick of gladioli, agapanthus, hydrangeas and dahlias, among others. Yet according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural A airs, only 14%of cut flowers sold in the UK are grown here. I’ve pledged to buy British and to brush up on British flower seasons, so I’ll be looking out forMichaelmas daisies in autumn and scented narcissi towards Christmas. As for packaging, many flower shops now wrap blooms in paper, andWaitrose Florist o ers plastic-free bouquets, using palm leaves and reusable twine to hold flowers together. By 2023, all its flower packaging will be recyclable or home compostable. My year of living sustainably ANNA SHEPARD A grandchild has arrived, a little boy one, only two days old as I write this. A completemiracle in a tiny babygrow, a story yet to be written. With his arrival comes a change in status for me and the oldman. We are o cially grandparents, there’s no denying it. No longer tucked away in his secret sac, the adorable long-fingered baby with the perfect ears has been delivered and so we are nana and poppa, or granny and grandad, or…. ? Decisions, decisions, but considering his name is yet to be confirmed, ours can wait, although when someone I knowmentioned the phrase ‘glam-ma’, I was appalled. The whole concept of grandparenting is confusing and, in an odd way, I feel the same sense of bewilderment and joy that I did when I first became amother. A newborn baby is both the strongest and the frailest creature you are ever going tomeet – they are unbelievable, bothmagnificent and terrifying. In terms of what my duties are, I’mnot quite sure. I want to be very hands-on, but I amalso back on tour in the autumn, a fact my daughter pointed out when I o ered regular childcare: “Hmm, how’s that going to work when you’re in Barnstaple?” Nanas aren’t what they used to be – by the timemine became grannies, neither were working. I don’t think either had been employed since they got married in the 20s. Both were fromBlackpool. One was dressy and wore fancy shoes withmatching hats and handbags – amill girl made good, havingmarried an orphan who became a hotshot solicitor. The other, my father’s mother, was amore di cult woman, with a showbusiness background way back when (some dancing, some comedy, it was never really discussed). She had retired to an armchair long before I was born. We never visited that nana without my father and even then, it was under duress. Her house smelled funny and she wasn’t the kind of nana whose grubby lap looked particularly welcoming. She belonged to another time and possessed very few natural nana skills. For starters, she didn’t cook, by which I mean she didn’t cook at all. Whenmy parents returned from my father’s military posting in Cyprus, she welcomed them home with a tin of corned beef. “There wasn’t even a tomato on the side,” mymother muttered tome once. Her mother, on the other hand, was a great pastrymaker and made the best Lancashire hotpot on the Fylde coast, served always with red cabbage. This nana would havemy sister, my cousin Elizabeth and I to stay the night. She called us ‘the three Graces’ and let us look through her jewellery box and try on her fur tippet, the one with the freaky fox’s face and the glittering glass eyes. This was the 60s, remember. I want to be a good nana, but I’mnot sure what this entails. I think in future it means putting protective sheeting over the good sofa, blockading the stairs and trying not tomind when they bring a truckload of plastic toys with them– what’s wrong with a simple wooden spinning top? I also think I need to buy a bun-baking tray and start acclimatising to watching cartoons without reaching for the headache pills. But of course, themost important ‘good nana’ rule is to butt out, keep your trap shut and not interfere everyminute of the day. Personally, two days in, I think this is by far the hardest part of grandparenting. Keep quiet and don’t interfere – the golden rules of being a nana Illustration: Sam Kalda/Folioart MY WEEK Jenny Eclair

4 AUGUST 202 2 6 NEWS&VI EWS IN MY OPINION Fi Glover The Radio 4 journalist airs her views IN MY OPINION i lover j l The phrase ‘when one door closes, another one opens’, has stood the test of time. It appeals to a sense of eternal optimism, which is needed in buckets right now. It’s a phrase that celebrates progress and encourages you not to always hark back to a better time. And I needed it this week, when two stories conflated to addlemy brain. The first was the closure of several humanities degrees at the University of Roehampton. If you hoped to study English literature or delve into classical studies there, you’re going to have to take your hope elsewhere. Roehampton is closing the courses and it’s not the only university doing so – She eldHallam and Cumbria have lost English lit courses too. It’s part of a trend away from social sciences and humanities degrees, partly because their ‘employability’ rating can be lower than somethingmore vocational. As a former humanities student, I don’t knowwhere to start with that argument. But one thing you do learn on a social science or humanities course is how to critique an argument. My top line would be that these are not courses irrelevant to life. What we see around us – hubris, greed, lust for power, misogyny – is there in the works of great minds. Is there anythingmore vocational than trying to understand our world? I found it depressing – a door slammed on what I always thought was a valuable part of life. But then, what light through yonder window breaks? (Shakespeare – but you knew that). Then there’s the announcement of a newcourse, Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and EuropeanPopCulture, at Texas StateUniversity. This degreewill look at ‘questions of gender, sexuality, race, class, globalism, media, fashion, fan culture, internet culture and consumerism’. Led by associate professor of digital history LouieDeanValencia, it will admit 20 students, who I suspect will leavewith a humanities degree andhuge employability. I hope some UKuniversities follow suit, because understanding the glorious force of modern creativity that is Harry Styles, and the world he operates in, is no di erent to understanding Hamlet and the world he operated in. It’s the same world, just turning in a di erent time. “Always desire to learn something useful,” as Sophocles said. I learnt that onmy classics and philosophy degree course, University of Kent, 1990. ‘Understanding the force of modern creativity that is Harry Styles is no di erent to understanding Hamlet’ Fortunately…with Fi and Jane and The Listening Project are on BBC Sounds @fifiglover Bringing nature to the classroom A new natural history GCSE will be on the curriculum from 2025 to inspire the younger generation – Anna Shepard meets Mary Colwell, who led the campaign for it to be introduced Earlier this year, the Department for Education approved plans to introduce a newGCSE in natural history, as part of its flagship sustainability and climate change strategy. In September 2025, the first cohort of students will be able to opt for it, to gain a deeper knowledge of the natural world, as well as learn about climate change and sustainability. At a time when our relationshipwith the environment has becomemore strained, it seems like an obvious step forward, giving young people better tools to understand our planet. But reaching this point has takenmore than a decade of relentless campaigning, led byMary Colwell, a TV producer andwriter with a passion for conservation, who came upwith the idea. In 2011, Mary became increasingly concerned about the lack of opportunities for young people to learn about the living world. “I had young children. It felt like this huge dereliction of duty on the part of our generation that we were not passing on that easy conversationwith nature that most of us had grown upwith,” she says. Around this time, studies were emerging showing that childrenwere at risk of ‘nature deficit disorder’, with one finding that one in nine children had not visited a forest, park or beach formore than a year. Americanwriter Richard Louv’s book Last Child in theWoods had predicted that childrenwould su er physically and first class idea Naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham supports the new GCSE Photography: Getty Images, Richard Bunce

4 AUGUST 202 2 7 The Mirror Crack’d tours the UK from 8 September; originaltheatre.com. Interview: Emma Higginbotham 7 QUESTIONS WITH… JOE MCFADDEN The actor and Strictly champion on boozy spag bol and dancing in heels 1 Where do you call home? That’s difäcult. I’ve lived in London for more than half my life, but I still consider myself Scottish. 2 You played registrar Raf in Holby City. Could you handle a real medical emergency? I was once on a plane and they asked if there was a doctor on board – I almost put my hand up! Luckily, a nurse came forward. I can do the recovery position and basic CPR, but you wouldn’t want me trying to bring you back. 3 After winning Strictly in 2017, did you keeeeep dancing? Yes! I did the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert tour – dancing in heels was a whole other thing. And it’s nice to be able to break out the moves on the danceåoor at 2am now and again. 4 Can you cook? I’m not brilliant, but the few things I do, I do really well. People come round and go: “You’re such a good cook!” and I’m like: “I can do four dishes.” You won’t be seeing me on MasterChef anytime soon. 5 Your most show-offy dish? A spag bol that has a whole bottle of wine in it. It takes about four hours to cook, but it tastes amazing. 6 Tell us about your character in The Mirror Crack’d. Jason Rudd is a charming American älm director, who moves to St Mary Mead with his älm star wife. Then there’s a murder and, as is the way with Agatha Christie, everyone looks slightly dodgy. 7 What’s the coolest thing in your house? A massive portrait of myself by Oliver Winconek. At the time I thought: “Is it conceited?” But I love his work so much, and I love the idea of it being around long after I’m gone. mentally if they were deprived of a connection to nature. “I remember a report in BBCWildlife magazine which suggested that many children couldn’t tell the di erence between a bumblebee and a wasp, or recognise an oak tree leaf, or a bluebell,” saysMary, who worked for the BBC’s Natural History unit before becoming a freelance writer and producer. Worried about this widening gap in understanding, Mary was surprised there was nothing addressing it on our national curriculum. She decided the best way to fix it was by introducing a natural history GCSE, available to all secondary school pupils. “We need future decision-makers who understand how everything works and you only get that through studying it, and getting outside, watching nature in action and recording the data,” she says. At this point, Mary had no idea what a slog it would turn out to be to get her plan approved by the Department for Education. If she’d known about the uphill struggle ahead, would it have put her o ? “No, but I did go into the whole thing withmisplaced optimism– I had no idea howdemanding and time-consuming it would be to get it through government.” Having sent a two-sided flyer to everyone she knew, explaining why a natural history GCSEwas needed andwhat it should look like, environmentalist Tony Juniper then wrote an article in The Guardian supporting the idea, which led toMary’s campaign becomingmore widely known. A petition to the government followed, which gained enough signatures tomerit an o cial response (you need at least 10,000), but it was still no. “It was only when Caroline Lucas, then leader of the Green Party, got involved in 2018 that we got the political wheelsmoving,” saysMary. “She got us in front of Michael Gove, whose support led us to the OCR examboard, which gave its support.” The timing felt right and the campaign began to draw support fromnaturalist and TV presenter Chris Packhamand Eden Project cofounder Sir TimSmit. Doug Gurr, director of the Natural HistoryMuseum, also agreed to help shape the syllabus. Mary was adamant that the subject should not be folded into biology –which is about life processes. Instead, the syllabus should involve getting to grips withwhat nature actually is, by observing and recording howdi erent organisms behave. “My son is studying biological science at Imperial College. He can tell you a lot about photosynthesis and how trees work, but he still can’t name the trees he’s studying, and that’s what needs to change,” she says. Unlike other GCSEs, there will be a considerable amount of outdoor learning asmuch of the syllabus will be field-based, involving sustained fieldwork, including a project to be carried out in a local patch of wilderness. Crucially, the course will be available to everyone, something Weekend columnist Chris Packhamhas flagged as vital. In an interviewwith The Times he said: “As things stand, the vast majority of young people who turn up in nature reserve car parks arrive in SUVs or shiny 4x4s. They are white andmiddle class. Imagine all kinds of pupils, heads down, learning about wildlife…my kind of lesson.” There has already been concern that the optionmay be embraced by pupils who already have an existing relationshipwith the natural world, butMary believes its appeal will be wider. “My instinct is that all kids find nature interesting, whether or not they’ve already encountered it. I think it’s amyth to say it will only appeal to the middle classes,” she says. “The whole point is to bring everyone into this – it’s a national and inclusive solution to the lack of environmental education.” Mary argues that a connection to nature is innate to all of us, but many of us either ignore it, or don’t have a chance to develop it. “Formany kids in inner-city areas, this GCSEmay be the only opportunity they have had to learn about nature,” she says. “I don’t have a crystal ball. I can’t tell for sure who will take it up, but I do know that we’re in a bad situationwith the natural world. We have to do everything we can to improve it, so let’s try.” ‘Imagine all kinds of pupils, heads down, learning about wildlife… my kind of lesson’ nature unlocked Mary Colwell (above left), who campaigned to create a GCSE that helps pupils get outdoors to connect with the natural world

4 AUGUST 202 2 9 NEWS&VI EWS my son’s favourite and we used to bake it everymonth. Unfortunately, he passed away but I still bake the brownies on the same day we always used to.’ It was such a tough time for her, and baking those brownies was what she needed. It was very di cult to hear. Stu like that shows it’s not just cooking.” Learning about Jane’s approach to her recipes – she works threemonths ahead developing and shooting them, and tested her NYC cookies 30 times before she was happy – you understand that part of the key to her success is being thorough, andmaking baking accessible. She includes little details, such as choosing full-fat cheese for her cheesecakes, or using oil-based colours for decoration. Following her passion has been lifechanging, says Jane: “Never in amillion years did I imagine this would happen.” Why does she think her first cookbook broke records? “I’ve come froma slightly di erent background,” she says. “I’ve blogged for myself, I’ve not come fromTV. I’ma regular person who writes about what she loves, and people seeme more as their friend.” Jane’s Patisserie: Celebrate! (Ebury) by Jane Dunn is out now Brilliant bakes Last year, food blogger Jane Dunn wrote the fastest-selling baking book of all time. Is she about to do it again? Anna-Marie Julyan reports ‘Baking is a di erent level of emotion to cooking. People find comfort in it and it’s a distraction, in a good way’ It features some of her most popular online recipes, such as mini egg NYC cookies and, for those with less of a sweet tooth (Jane confesses to preferring savoury food over sweet), a chapter with party food staples such as cheese straws, quiche and crumpets. The point is to seize thosemoments worth celebrating, she explains, whether it’s making margarita cupcakes for a girls’ night in, nobake lemon cheesecake for a summer party or getting your kids to helpmake a traybake, such as peanut butter jelly blondies. “Baking something is a di erent level of emotion to cooking. It’s why I love doing this, because people find comfort in it,” she says, adding that it kept people going during the pandemic. “Baking is a distraction in a good way. It takes time, you have to think. During lockdowns people were lonelier, or maybe they needed to keep the kids entertained.” Has she had anymemorable feedback? She pauses. “There is one I can’t forget. During lockdown, I bumped into somebody outside in the supermarket queue. She said: ‘I absolutely love your brownie recipe. It was Jane Dunn is having a busy year. As well as appearing regularly on ITV’s ThisMorning, where she bakes treats such as Bisco rocky road or Toblerone tart, she’s been a judge for The PlatinumPudding Competition, posts daily recipes on her blog, Jane’s Patisserie, and has just launched her latest book. Described by The Times as ‘theMary Berry of the Instagramage’, Jane, 28, started her website in 2014 after training at Ashburton Chefs Academy, with the hope that “maybe one person would read a recipe”. Her last day job before becoming a full-time food writer was atWaitrose in Havant – she lives inHampshire. Nowadays, the site gets 60million views per year, up to 500,000 per day, while her 1.75million followers on social media lap up her recipes for striking sweet bakes. A glance at her Instagram feed (@janespatisserie) recipe for success Jane with her seasonal cupcakes ( far left); lemon cheesecake ( left); mini egg NYC cookies (below); peanut butter jelly blondies (below left) reveals videos for glossy dark Ferrero Rocher drip cake, squidgy NYC chocolate chip cookies packed withmelting chocolate, apple crumble ice creamor no-bake Oreo tart, the step-by-step recipes playing to a background of upbeat music. Restrained she is not, she concedes with a laugh. Video was a real game-changer. Jane didn’t really use it pre-pandemic and had around 200,000 Instagram followers – a number that’s now quadrupled. “It had amassive impact. People like seeing what I’mdoing so they can copy. Video really shows the process and what it should look like,” she says. Last August, Jane’s Patisserie became the fastest-selling baking book of all time, shiftingmore than 44,000 copies in its first three days. Her second, Jane’s Patisserie: Celebrate! came out this week, with the strapline ‘bake every day special’. Photography: Ellis Parrinder

10 4 AUGUST 202 2 NEWS&VI EWS “You never really understand a person until you consider things fromhis point of view,” says Atticus Finch in To Kill aMockingbird. “Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This summer, Richard Coyle will havemore reason than most to reflect on those words, as he walks around in the skin of Atticus himself, in Aaron Sorkin’s acclaimed new stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s cherished novel. But this isn’t quite the Atticus Finch we know from the book, or fromGregory Peck’s iconic, Oscar-winning performance in the 1962 film. For this production – which proved an instant smash when it opened in theWest End in March, three years after its Broadway debut – Sorkin (The WestWing) has chosen “to have a new conversation about the book” and its idealistic hero, a white lawyer in 30s Alabama who steps up to defend a blackman wrongly accused of rape. “What’s interesting in this version is that Atticus is flawed, in a way that, sentimentally and culturally, wemight not have considered himbefore,” says Richard, who has established himself as an in-demand stage and screen actor on both sides of the Atlantic sincemaking his breakthrough in the BBC sitcom Coupling 20 years ago. “We’ve sort of put Atticus on a pedestal, and chosen to revere him, as a kind of white saviour. Which is not to say he hasn’t got those qualities, but it’s amuchmore nuanced and complicated Atticus wemeet this time. It’s a slightly cautionary tale about the danger of well-meaning naivety.” In the novel, Atticus’ cast-iron faith in the American justice system, and the essential goodness of human beings, often feels at odds with the reality of life in the Deep South at the time – and it wasn’t a world Sorkin recognised as he set about adapting the book in the dying days of the Trump presidency. Considering things fromother people’s point of view, to borrowAtticus’ phrase, also has a bearing on the play, says Richard. “The book is told froma child’s point of view [Scout, Atticus’ six-year-old daughter], whereas in this, Atticus is more of a protagonist. Whichmakes the arguments more complicated – andmore problematic.” Presumably this version of Atticus – who, no longer viewed through the prismof Scout’s hero worship, is revealed to have feet of clay – is amore interesting role to play? “I think so – it’s the classic hero’s journey, in the true Joseph Campbell tradition of going somewhere spiritually, and being born anew,” says Richard. “And that’s a really juicy prospect for me as an actor – finding out who he is, what drives him.” The play also gives more agency to the book’s curiously passive and under-served African-American characters. It’s perhaps a braveman, who – while clearly still in thrall to Lee’s genius – dares to expose the fault lines in such a sacred text. “I think it’s always important to interrogate important pieces of literature,” says Richard. “One of the hallmarks of a great piece of work is that it can be re-interpreted and re-interrogated, time and again. They can’t just be preserved as they were, for the sake of sentimentality. Aaron Sorkin has made it contemporary and relevant. We’re still having these conversations – about the American justice system, about police brutality, Black LivesMatter, all these things. I think it’s an incredibly pertinent piece of work. “I first read the book when I was 15, and I’ve never forgotten it – it was an important book for me,” adds the 48-year-old. “It deeply a ectedme, Atticus deeply a ectedme. So it means a great deal to be able to play him. I feel very privileged.” He’s never seen Gregory Peck in the film, though – “it just wouldn’t be helpful”. When Richardmakes his debut as Atticus at the Gielgud Theatre on 15 August, he’ll be taking over fromone of his oldest friends, Rafe Spall. “We’re best mates, me and Rafe – we go back a long way,” he says. They even founded a theatre company together – albeit not one that’s actually produced anything yet. “We’ve come close a couple of times but... life just gets in the way, you know? But we fully intend to do it.” Will Rafe be giving him the theatrical equivalent of an o ce handover? “There’ve been lots of conversations,” says Richard. “Not about how to play it – I don’t want that advice, and he knows that. It’s more about the o -stage stu .” The play is also part of the All Rise scheme, which o ers £15 tickets for every performance, in a bid tomake theatre more a ordable to audiences. “I think that’s incredibly As he takes over as Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s hit stage version of To Kill a Mockingbird, Richard Coyle tells Paul Kirkley about finding the flaws in one of literature’s greatest heroes Southern discomfort

11 4 AUGUST 202 2 ‘I first read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was 15 and Atticus deeply a ected me, so it means a great deal to be able to play him’ Photography: The Other Richard

13 4 AUGUST 202 2 NEWS&VI EWS Born in 1974, Richard was the fourth of äve boys. “It was quite scrappy – quite rough and tumble,” he recalls. “But it was a great childhood.” He used his Coupling fee to buy a åat in Queen’s Park, London, and has also renovated a farmhouse in Donegal, Ireland. He has a teenage daughter, Purdy, with his ex-wife, the actress Georgia Mackenzie. Richard’s ärst TV leading role – as a defrocked, demonhunting priest in the 2003 BBC supernatural drama Strange – was axed after one series. “It was a bit before its time,” he suggests. “These days, there’s a plethora of shows like that, but back then, the BBC didn’t quite know what to do with it. It’s a shame, because I really loved it. None of my passion projects have amounted to a great deal over the years, actually. Which maybe says something about my passions.” important,” says Richard, who grew up in She eld, the son of a builder dad and amidwife-social worker mum. “I’m from a working-class background, and theatre was very important tome. I believe passionately that theatre should be for all, not just for an elite.” There’s an amazing story, recycled inmost profiles of Richard, about how he got into acting after meeting a theatre director while servingmeals on the Hull to Rotterdam ferry. Unfortunately, it’s all nonsense. “I don’t know how that got out there,” he says. “But it’s not true. I went to university [studying languages and philosophy at York] and started doing student drama. That’s where a theatre director sawme and said: ‘Have you ever thought about drama school?’” Oh. That’s amuchmore boring story. It’s still a bit of a Sliding Doors moment, though – does he ever consider how lifemight have turned out if that director hadn’t been in the audience that night? “Who knows?” he shrugs. “I might have ended up a builder.” Two years after graduating from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Richard landed the job in Coupling, Steven Mo at’s racy sitcom that was widely dubbed ‘the British Friends’. In a fine ensemble cast that also included Jack Davenport and Sarah Alexander, he stole every scene as wild-eyedWelsh oddball Je Murdock – to the extent that the show never really recovered fromhis sudden departure at the end of the third series. Richard has fondmemories of Coupling – “It was very exciting. I was just sort of blagging it, making it up as I went along” – but regrets not having a proper conversation with Mo at about his decision to leave. For a long time, he worried there was bad blood between them– but it’s all sorted now, he says. “It’s complicated… I think we both worried over the years if things were OK, but it’s fine, we’re on good terms. And Steven’s doing brilliantly well, obviously.” An early stage role saw him starring opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2002 DonmarWarehouse production of David Auburn’s Proof. By that time, she was already a huge Hollywood star but, says Richard, everybody’s equal once you’re in the rehearsal room. “Wemake these people into gods and superheroes, but they’re just people, and it doesn’t take fiveminutes to work that out. She was amazing.” Theatre successes in the two decades since include Don Carlos, with Sir Derek Jacobi, Macdu in Kenneth Branagh’s NewYork production of Macbeth, and plaudits for his role as The Sun’s first editor Larry Lamb in James Graham’s Ink. On screen, he’s appeared in The Libertine with Johnny Depp, played Jake Gyllenhaal’s brother in the blockbuster Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and taken regular roles inUS TV shows including Crossbones, with JohnMalkovich, and Covert A airs, with Piper Perabo. Most recently, he’s played the wicked Father Faustus Blackwood, Dean of the Academy of Unseen Arts, inNetflix’s fantasy hit Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Albus Dumbledore’s kid brother Aberforth in the latest Fantastic Beasts movie (he loved being “part of the wizarding world family,” he says). He also has the rare distinction of having been directed byMadonna, in her criticallymauled 2011 film W.E. “Actually, Madonna is one of the best directors I’ve ever worked for,” he says, gallantly. “Really. She knew exactly what she wanted, and exactly how to get it, and there’s nothing more reassuring for an actor than that.” What about her reputation for being slightly... terrifying? “Well, I wouldn’t want to cross her,” he laughs. “But you know, Madonna has been treated pretty badly over the years – as female celebrities often are. And she learned to pull walls up, as you would. But once you get to see the real person, she’s a brilliant, talented, really intelligent individual.” Sometimes, when he’s doing a play, Richard will take time out of his schedule to just stand and look up at his name in lights. “I think it’s important to do that,” he says. “To take a minute to try to remember…my journey, I suppose.” And what does he see, when he looks back on that odyssey? “Oh, I don’t know,” he sighs. “I mean, life is kind of…messy, and without a plan, isn’t it?” But he’s where he wants to be? “Listen, I’ve no complaints whatsoever,” he says. “I’mvery blessed. I love what I do.” And yet, at the same time, he admits there’s a part of him that still struggles to see acting as ‘a real job’. “I think it probably comes from the fact my dad was a builder,” he reflects. “Inmy background, being an actor isn’t a real job. Real jobs are teachers, builders and plumbers – proper trades. Acting was never onmy family’s radar, or even on the horizon. But I think that’s a positive thing, to have that relationship with acting. “I still sometimes pinchmyself, and go: ‘What are you doing?’ And that keeps me hopeful, and excited.” Richard Coyle stars in To Kill aMockingbird at the Gielgud Theatre, London, from 15 August. tokillamockingbird.co.uk STRANGE BUT TRUE ‘Madonna is one of the best directors I’ve ever worked for. She knew just what she wanted’ stage and screen Richard on the To Kill a Mockingbird set (p11); as The Sun editor Larry Lamb in Ink (bottom, right); as Father Faustus Blackwood in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix (below) Photography: Alamy Stock Photo, Getty Images

4 AUGUST 202 2 15 FOOD&DRINK Easy does it A summery melon, cucumber & prawn salad fromHoney & Co p19 Taste the sunshine Bringing the flavours of Greek olives direct to your home p20 Diana Henry An alfresco menu includes peaches withMarsala & rosemary p24 Photography: Sam Folan, Food stylist: Joss Herd, Prop stylist: Wei Tang

16 4 AUGUST 202 2 FOOD&DRINK Egg recipes containing raw or semi-cooked egg are not suitable for pregnant women, elderly people, or those with weak immune systems. For information on nutrition and health, visit waitrose.com/nutrition. V vegetarian. Savings to savour As regular readers will know, I’m a huge fan of Diana Henry’s cooking. Her books are among the most well-used in my kitchen, and her recipes feature heavily on my make-againand-again list. She’s got a way of taking simple ingredients and combining them to make something really special, and the menu she’s dreamed up for us this week is no exception (p24). Crab with coriander mayo, griddled chicken with baked artichoke hearts and fennel, and juicy baked peaches with Marsala and rosemary – these are the sunny åavours that transport you to a table by the Med, even if you’re eating it in a British garden this weekend, as I plan to do. ALISON OAKERVEE Partner & food and drink editor Mixed vegetable stir fry with crunchy peanut sauce Serves 4 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 20 minutes 50g Essential Crunchy Peanut Butter 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce 2 tbsp soy sauce 25g creamed coconut from a block, roughly chopped 4 tsp wok oil 500g pack Essential Mushrooms, sliced 450g pack Essential Crunchy Vegetable Stir Fry 2 Essential Green Peppers, thinly sliced 1 large red chilli, änely chopped 250g medium egg noodles 1 Combine the peanut butter, chilli sauce, soy and coconut in a small saucepan with 150ml water. Heat gently for about 5 minutes, until thickened and evenly combined. 2 Heat ½ the oil in a large frying pan or wok and cook the mushrooms over a high heat for 5 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned and all the moisture has evaporated. Transfer to a plate. 3 Heat the remaining 2 tsp oil and fry the vegetables and green peppers for 6 minutes, until slightly softened, but retaining crunch, and piping hot. Stir in the chilli, along with the mushrooms, and reheat brieåy. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to pack instructions. Serve with the vegetables and sauce. V Per serving 2176kJ/519kcals/21g fat/6.2g saturated fat/63g carbs/ 15g sugars/7.6g äbre/18g protein/ 2.1g salt/3 of your 5 a day Lamb meatballs with minty green veg Serves 4 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 20 minutes 100ml Essential Greek Style Yogurt 2 cloves garlic, crushed 500g pack Essential Lamb Meatballs 2 large Essential Courgettes, cut into 5cm lengths 1 tsp cumin seeds 6 sprigs mint, leaves only, chopped, plus extra to serve 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds 4 Essential Little Gem Lettuce, quartered lengthways ½-1 small red onion, very thinly sliced 1 In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and garlic with lots of black pepper. Add 1 tsp cold water to thin it slightly, then cover and chill. 2 Heat a frying pan over a high heat, then, without adding any oil, fry the meatballs, shaking the pan frequently, for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown, the juices run clear and there is no pink meat. Lift out onto a plate and keep warm. Add the courgettes to the pan and fry for 2 minutes. Add the cumin, mint and pumpkin seeds and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a separate plate and sear the little gem wedges in the pan brieåy until lightly browned, for 1 minute or so each side, in 2 batches. 3 Transfer the little gem to serving plates and arrange the courgette mixture on top, followed by the meatballs and sliced onion. Drizzle with the garlic yogurt and scatter over the extra mint leaves to serve. Per serving 1508kJ/361kcals/20g fat/8.7g saturated fat/11g carbs/8.4g sugars/6.5g äbre/31g protein/0.8g salt/2 of your 5 a day/gluten free Cook’s tip This light supper dish can be made more substantial with the addition of diced tofu, cooked lightly in a little extra oil. Cook’s tip Lightly frying hearty lettuce wedges makes an interesting alternative to regular vegetable accompaniments during the summer.

17 4 AUGUST 202 2 If you’re looking to save money on your food bills without sacrificing any of the flavour, the Weekend food team has created these simple and delicious midweek meals – all making the most of our great value, great quality Essential range Cook’s tip The strained tomato juice gives a fresh, zesty åavour to the sauce. If short of time, use the tomatoes as they are and add 2 tbsp tomato juice from a carton instead. Cook’s tip This recipe also works well with Essential British Chicken Breast Fillets or Lamb Steaks. Cut the meat into pieces and åatten in the same way. Waste not You can freeze any tarragon you don’t use for another time. Pull it from the stalks, return it to the bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Use straight from frozen. Tomato, sardine & toasted bread salad Serves 2 Prepare 15 minutes Cook 20 minutes 1 pack Essential Mixed Peppers, cut into small chunks 100g Essential Baguette, torn into bitesized pieces 120g can Essential Sardines in Tomato Sauce 4 tsp olive oil 2 tsp red or white wine vinegar 2 cloves garlic, crushed 200g Essential Cherry Tomatoes, halved 40g drained Essential Black Olives In Brine, roughly chopped 15g Greek basil leaves (optional) 1 Preheat the grill to medium. Place the peppers on a foillined baking sheet and grill for 15 minutes, until softened and slightly charred at the edges. Scatter the bread on top and grill for a further 2 minutes, until toasted. 2 Lift the sardines from the can and set aside. Scrape the tomato sauce into a bowl. Stir in the oil, vinegar, garlic, 2 tbsp water and plenty of black pepper. Set a sieve over the bowl and use a teaspoon to scoop the pulp out of each tomato into the sieve. Strain through into the tomato sauce mixture, discarding the seeds. 3 Combine the tomatoes, peppers, toasted bread, olives and basil (if using) in a bowl, then stir in ½ the sauce and mix well. Transfer to plates, top with the sardines and drizzle with the remaining sauce, some black pepper and a few extra basil leaves. Per serving 1827kJ/436kcals/18g fat/ 3.4g saturated fat/45g carbs/20g sugars/9.9g äbre/18g protein/1.1g salt/ low in saturated fat 2 of your 5 a day Spicy pork & rice with plums Serves 4 Prepare 20 minutes Cook 30 minutes 500g Essential Pork Shoulder Steaks 1½ tsp Chinese äve spice 2 tsp vegetable oil 4 Essential Plums, stoned and quartered 200g Essential Long Grain Rice 1 bunch Essential Salad Onions, sliced (white and green parts separated) 3 cloves garlic, crushed 30g piece ginger, peeled and änely grated ½ x 25g pack coriander, chopped 2 tbsp plum sauce 1 Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Remove any excess fat from the pork and cut the meat into 3-4cm pieces. Space well apart between layers of baking parchment. Beat with a rolling pin until less than ½ the original thickness. Sprinkle with the äve spice and rub in. 2 Heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan and fry the pork for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a åameproof roasting tin and bake for 10 minutes, then add the plums and bake for 10 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through with no pink meat. Meanwhile, cook the rice in boiling, lightly salted water for 10 minutes. 3 Heat the remaining 1 tsp oil in the frying pan. Gently fry the white parts of the onions for 3 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the rice and add to the pan with the coriander, then mix well. Transfer to plates and top with the pork and plums. Heat the plum sauce in the roasting tin with 4 tbsp water, stirring until bubbling. Spoon over the plums and serve with the green salad onions. Per serving 1736kJ/414kcals/18g fat/ 5.9g saturated fat/40g carbs/12g sugars/4.5g äbre/22g protein/0.3g salt/1 of your 5 a day High in protein Penne with goat’s cheese, spinach & tarragon sauce Serves 2 Prepare 10 minutes Cook 15 minutes 150g Essential Penne 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, änely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 150g tub Essential French Spreadable Goat’s Cheese 100ml semi-skimmed milk 5 large sprigs tarragon, leaves only, roughly chopped 100g Essential Spinach, thick stalks removed 1 Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 12 minutes, until just tender. 2 Heat the oil in a separate saucepan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and fry for a further minute. Tip in the goat’s cheese, milk, tarragon and a little black pepper, then heat through, stirring until smooth. 3 Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan. Immediately stir in the spinach until it softens and wilts, stirring continuously. Add the sauce and stir until combined. Heat through brieåy and serve. Per serving 2121kJ/505kcals/19g fat/ 9.1g saturated fat/60g carbs/9.4g sugars/4.6g äbre/21g protein/0.9g salt/1 of your 5 a day Recipe writer: Joanna Farrow, Photography: Mowie Kay, Food stylist: Joss Herd, Prop stylist: Wei Tang

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