The People’s Princess: Mrs Brown vs Diana

Issue 1069

The People’s Princess: Mrs Brown vs Diana

In this week’s Big Issue…

In a matter of days, a book appears telling the story of Brendan O’Carroll. He’s Mrs Brown, the increasingly popular TV character. At more or less the same time the much chatted-about Diana movie appears. This leads to an interesting question. Which of these diametrically opposite iconic figures captures the popular mood and imagination of Britain better now? Brian Beacom considers the People’s Princess of 2013. And we then look at Christmas books. Yes, Christmas books. That Brown one will be a big one come Christmas. It’s published in September.

In the early 1970s, Franc Roddam made an incredible documentary. It followed Michael ‘Mini’ Cooper, a scared kid from a terribly dysfunctional family, in and out of secure homes and onto an uncertain future. The intervening years were difficult for Cooper, but he is now finally getting his life in order. He writes about how his life went when the cameras left this week. Roddam, who also made Quadrophenia and Masterchef, writes about Cooper. A great piece.

And there’s more…

Letter To My Younger Self comes from cricket-loving musical theatre master Tim Rice. An interesting character with early, curious interests in Judas Iscariot and Eva Peron – which explains something of what came later – he has much to say on the nature of failure.

John Bird looks at the invisibility that attaches to homelessness and our vendors. And he urges you to see an exhibition by Kathryn Prescott at St Martin-In-The-Fields that considers just that.

Samira Ahmed flies the flag for Leicester becoming the final resting place of Richard III. She does this via Anglo Saxon Kings, emergent brutalist architecture and Ladybird picture books. Read this.

The Rev Jesse Jackson talks votes and education; our vendor is Julia Allaway in Exeter who was a stay-at-home mum before a bad turn or two and is now working her way back; Simon Schama talks Adam Forrest through faith and doubt; and we celebrate the incredible Richard Whitehead, a double leg amputee who is RUNNING the length of Britain. We keep getting letters about the difficulty of the Suduko. Have you tried it? Have you completed it?

The Build Your Vendor A Shop competition continues to grow. We’ve had some great returns already. Spread the word.