• Image of Issue 1220: January 29-February 4

Bolton comedian Sophie Willan reveals all about how she has managed to make light of tough start in life and how she now works to support people who are facing the struggles she has managed to overcome.

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry responds to criticism and discusses the progress that has been made in the three years since the the government initiative to bring devolution and increased transport spending to the region began.

As rough sleeping statistics rise for the seventh year in a row, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham shares his plans for tackling homelessness but says a lot of the responsibility lies with central government.

We pay tribute to rock ‘n’ roll legend Mark E Smith following his recent death, taking a look back at The Fall founder’s achievements, wacky performances and antics.

Despite being found guilty in court last week, the Kelly family say that they will not give up their fight against fracking and reflect on the pride they felt after being arrested while protesting at the Preston New Road site near Blackpool.

She’s one of Ancient Egypt’s most famous queens but a recent book released by Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley claims Nefertiti was not that powerful.

The Centre Stage page brings you a look into an exhibition of Terence Cuneo’s work as the curator reveals how his paintings show us a more realistic post-war Britain than some photographs.

Also, musician Steven van Zandt writes a letter to his younger self and columnist Roger Ratcliffe compares British politics to Dad’s Army. We’ve got a selection of the best events in the north, a Q&A with author Adam Sternbergh and of course a crossword and sodoku puzzle and more.

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