• Boss. Entertainer. Vendor. The irresistible return of David Brent. Ricky Gervais talks to The Big Issue

Boss. Entertainer. Vendor. The irresistible return of David Brent. Ricky Gervais talks to The Big Issue

Issue 1218

Boss. Entertainer. Vendor. The irresistible return of David Brent. Ricky Gervais talks to The Big Issue

Brent’s back. And only one mag shows where his next job opportunity may come… Eamonn Forde finds Ricky Gervais in very good form, covering a lot of ground – not least with some first-class Bowie anecdotes. You don’t need any other Gervais interviews this week after this one. Great shoot from Louise Haywood-Schiefer, too.

This week Barnardo’s revealed that just 3% of children and young people in care have access to a mentor – somebody who they can turn to, seek advice from, look up to and maybe aspire to be. That is shockingly and shamefully low. We look at why they, and some of the poorest and most troubled families in Britain, are being failed and what can be done.

Our Letter To My Younger Self is with huge selling author Val McDermid. Funny and very likeable, she is honest about growing up feeling different – both because ‘there were no lesbians in Fife in the 1960s’ and because she felt totally at sea arriving at Oxford. The story about her son will get you…

Edinburgh festival season is in full swing. John Bird looks back at his own stab at theatrical glory – “The story of a Thatcherite plumber who in the course of his labours intentionally kills a cigar smoking rat who is a reincarnation of Winston Churchill” – and hopes there is space for some political satire post-Brexit.

Speaking of Edinburgh, does art echo life? Some of our vendors went along to shows that claim to represent the tough reality of living to give their views. Great reviews.

Our featured vendor in My Pitch this week is Nicusor who sells at Queen Street station in central Glasgow. He worked as a mechanic in Milan until the economy went south. He’s hoping for brighter future in Britain.

Damian Barr has another crackerjack piece, this time on PrEP and the creeping moralism that would stop it being available.

Sam Delaney is back to explain why the growing furore around Netflix latest hit Stranger Things is totally justified. And Simon Mayo chooses five books to read before you’re 16.

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For each subscription to the magazine, we’ll provide a vendor with a reusable water bottle, making it easier for them to access cold water on hot days.