• Bolt from the blue… Can the Olympic spirit be salvaged?

Bolt from the blue… Can the Olympic spirit be salvaged?

Issue 1217

Bolt from the blue… Can the Olympic spirit be salvaged?

Corruption, doping, mega-debt, Zika. The Olympic Games are not starting on a wave of euphoric glory. We take a look at whether there is a future for the Greatest Show On Earth, and what they could learn from the success of the Homeless World Cup.

Victor Meldrew was a man frustrated at the small inequities of life. Thought he was dead? Think again. Richard Wilson is bringing back one of the most iconic cultural characters of the last generation. He tells Steven Mackenzie which way Meldrew would have voted in the Brexit referendum – and why he’s had enough of Jeremy Corbyn. An infuriated icon for our confused times. Believe it.

As the Edinburgh Festivals get underway our vendors act as guides to lesser seen parts of the city. They provide a rare and indispensable alternative route around Scotland’s capital.

Our Letter To My Younger Self is with massive-selling spy story king Frederick Forsyth. He has sold 80million books. He details a curious, fearless life.

There is much to be said for getting outside and spending time in green spaces. John Bird looks how a movement towards ’social prescriptions’ could improve the nation’s mental health. Not before time.

Staying with health, The Big Issue medic Dr Stuart Flanagan looks at truths and fictions of healthcare. After flossing was debunked, he lets us know whether there is real benefit to massive intake of Vitamin C, whether the 5-a-day fruit and veg advice stacks up and offers advice on things that could change how we live. An eye-opener.

Our featured vendor this week is Richie who sells in central Lincoln. Plagued by ill-health that stops him working any more as a horticultural engineer, he says he loves every second working as a vendor.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator and star of Fleabag sings the praise of karaoke; we assess the long-term viability of International Development Aid; and there is also a piece asking you to embrace a love of the bagpipes. Yes there is.