• Image of Issue 1200: September 11-17

This week’s cover, of our Hull vendor Jamie, has been designed by Stan Chow – the renowned Manchester artist whose work Donald Trump once branded “ridiculous”. Ciara Leeming met him and also asked Jamie how he felt about being on the cover.

On the face of it, increasing free childcare from 15 to
30 hours a week is a good thing. But as Antonia Charlesworth finds, the new scheme, which has just come into operation, has caused anxiety for parents trying to apply and financial uncertainty for nurseries and councils putting it into practice.

Min Kym felt she was destined to be a star violinist from an early age – and she was proved right. Saskia Murphy discovers the path of a child prodigy is rarely a smooth one.

Barrie Rutter promised to step down from Halifax theatre company Northern Broadsides if it didn’t get more Arts Council funding and now the actor and director is being true to his words. Those words are, writes Richard Smirke, typically blunt – not that he’s short of new ideas.

Plus news, arts and entertainment, columnist Ali Schofield on the needless badger cull, comedian Robert Webb’s letter to his younger self, crossword, Sudoku and more.

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