Issue 1174

13 Mar 2017
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About this issue: Overview

Pinning down the star of this week’s magazine for a photograph was a challenge but we managed to get past her people just long enough for Felix, Huddersfield’s station cat, to grace our cover. Christian Lisseman finds out how the four-legged diva has become a celebrity. Cats crop up again on our vendor page, where we meet Niko and his owner Benas.

Elsewhere on our feature pages Saskia Murphy assesses a profession in crisis. Stuck on the same salary for years, working regularly until midnight and not sleeping – teachers are under pressure like never before and many are leaving the job they once loved.

Qawwali is a centuries-old form of devotional music that enchants and entrances with its driving rhythms, soaring vocals and complex instrumentation. Rizwan and Muazzam Ali Khan are heirs to the king of qawaali – Nusrat Fateh Ali – and they’re back in the UK for this first time in years. Richard Smirke spoke to them.

On our news pages we visit Preston New Road, near Blackpool, where tensions between police and protesters opposing fracking are rising. We speak to a local councilor who’s concerned about violent police tactics and Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, who calls for central government to foot the policing bill.

We have our usual TV, home entertainment, music, books and cinema reviews, plus a preview of the stage adaptation of Ted Hughes’s Gaudete. We have a Q&A with author David Gaffney and creator of The Crying Game, Neil Jordan pens a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Plus there’s our usual competition, crossword and Sudoku.